Boeing Attracts Chinese Order

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It was a good week for Boeing as it picked up an unexpected new customer and one of its biggest clients dealt a blow to rival Airbus. Late last week China Eastern Airlines announced it was buying 80 Boeing 737s, including the latest 737 MAX models. China Eastern is state-owned and it placed the $7.4 billion order with the American planemaker rather than buying C919 narrow-body airliners from state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China. The C919 is intended to be the indigenous alternative to single-aisle offerings from Boeing and Airbus but it has suffered from development delays. On the other side of the world, Emirates Airlines cancelled a huge Airbus A350 order in what analysts speculate will result in more 777 sales for Boeing. 

Emirates was one of the first to announce it was buying the A350 and it ordered 70 aircraft at a value of more than $16 billion. The airline said it cancelled the order after a review of its fleet requirements. At the same time, the airline is negotiating with Boeing for the purchase of 150 777X aircraft, the updated and more efficient version of the long-haul airliner. Airbus said it was disappointed by the cancellation, which represented almost 10 percent of its order book for the A350, but said it would find other customers for the aircraft.