Boeing Confirms Deal With AirTran

Also, Deutsche cuts its rating on Boeing to sell from hold.
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Updated from 8:07 a.m. EDT

Boeing

(BA) - Get Report

held off European rival

Airbus

and reached a multibillion-dollar agreement to sell a group of 737 passenger jets to low-fare carrier

AirTran Airways

(AAI)

.

The deal covers 100 planes and reportedly is worth around $6 billion. The agreement includes 50 firm orders for 737s and options for 50 more planes.

At the same time, AirTran placed an additional order for up to 10 Boeing 717s.

The first aircraft delivery is scheduled for the summer of 2004, with additional deliveries to follow at a rate of about one a month thereafter, continuing into 2008.

Separately, Deutsche Bank downgraded Boeing to sell from hold. The firm said lowered production and a weak order rate could hurt the company through 2005. Deutsche has a price target of $28 on the stock.

Shares of Boeing were up 9 cents, to $34.41, in recent

New York Stock Exchange

trading.