Boeing Winning Dubai Orders Race

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The biennial Dubai Air Show seems to be supplanting Paris and Farnborough as the place Boeing and Airbus go to duke it out in the orders numbers game. As of Day 3 of the show, more than $160 billion in orders had been placed (breaking the previous record of $155 billion) and Boeing had gathered two-thirds of it. Most of those were for the 777X, a more fuel-efficient and technologically advanced version of one of its most successful designs. A total of 259 orders were placed for what is still a paper airplane whose assembly location also hasn't been set thanks to labor issues at Boeing. By comparison the current flagship 787 attracted a modest 30 orders. Airbus earned 50 orders for the A380 from Emirates.

The huge orders, most of them from Persian Gulf-based airlines, highlight the growing importance of the region as a transportation hub. "We are in the center of a region with the world's fastest-growing aviation infrastructure, fastest-growing airlines and a region where security commitments are in focus," Sharief Fahmy, chief executive of F&E Aerospace, the airshow's organizer, said in a statement on the show's website. The airshow is also gaining prominence among military aircraft manufacturers.