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Boeing's ’07 order tally nears 1,400 mark, surges past Airbus

Boeing has taken a late-lead over Airbus in the 2007 commercial airliner orders race after finalizing a massive order with Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) and another huge order by Brazil’s GOL Linhas Aereas.

The Middle East aviation services company DAE concluded a deal announced at the Dubai Air Show in November for 70 737s, 15 787s, 10 777-300ERs and five 747-8 Freighters.

Meanwhile, GOL issued a late announcement finalizing an order for 40 more next-generation Boeing 737s.

The last-minute disclosures raise Boeing’s unofficial order tally for the year to 1,398 airliners. That number easily defeats Airbus’s publicly-known order tally in 2007, which unofficially stands at 1,304.

Airbus has yet to announce finalizing a similar letter of intent with DAE for 100 jets, including 70 A320s and 30 A350XWBs. Airbus may also still be able to finalize pending deals with AirAsia for 25 more A320s and Cathay Pacific for eight more A330s.

Boeing plans to disclose its official tally for 2007 tomorrow morning in Seattle.

Barring a surprise announcement by Airbus, the US airframer already appears to have surged ahead of its major rival thanks to a late-December influx of finalized deals. Besides securing DAE’s $10.9 billion commitment, Boeing since its last order update on 18 December has also concluded deals with Korea’s Jeju Air, British Airways, Vietnam Airlines and a Vietnamese leasing company for a combined total of 72 jets.

Airbus officially announced picking up 1,204 orders by end-November, then added in December 30 orders from Vietnam Airlines and 70 orders from Tiger Airways.

Meanwhile, DAE’s order vaults the relatively nascent services company into a big-time commercial aircraft operator.

“In concluding this order with Boeing, we've taken a major step towards reaching our objectives in a short span of time,” says Bob Genise, CEO of DAE Capital in a statement.

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