scored another order for its next-generation 7E7 Dreamliner passenger jet -- this time from Vietnam Airlines.
Vietnam's national carrier plans to take delivery of four 7E7-8s in 2010. With the agreement, which both sides expect to finalize in the first quarter of 2005, Boeing has received orders for 126 7E7s, 56 of which are under firm contract. Vietnam Airlines is the eighth publicly announced 7E7 customer.
Boeing's announcement of the order late Thursday failed to lift its stock Friday. Shares were down 13 cents, or 0.3%, at $51.77. The news comes one day after Boeing said
would order 10 7E7s, making it the first major U.S. carrier to reveal plans to acquire the fuel-efficient jet.
Boeing is still far from meeting its year-end goal of 200 7E7 orders. The company says the Dreamliner will use 20% less fuel than current jets of comparable size. That is the main appeal to airlines, where fuel usually constitutes the second-largest expense after labor. Boeing is offering three Dreamliner versions. Targeted at the middle of the commercial jet market, they will seat between 200 and 300 passengers and make medium- to long-range flights.
Archrival Airbus has placed the 7E7 program firmly in its sights. Earlier this month, Airbus' shareholders gave the go ahead to sell new A350 jets modified from the company's A330 planes and designed to compete directly with the 7E7.