Boeing Grabs Indian Order

Air-India orders up to 50 planes in a blow to Airbus.
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has won another big victory against rival


, with an order for as many as 50 wide-body planes from Air-India.

Boeing on Tuesday confirmed that the Indian state-run carrier has placed firm orders for five 777-200LR planes, 10 777-300ERs and 20 787-8 Dreamliners. Air-India also has options to purchase three additional 777-200LRs, five more 777-300ERs and seven additional 787-8s. Average list prices for the firm orders total $5.84 billion, according to information from Boeing's Web site and a company spokesman.

The news ends weeks of speculation about which plane maker Air-India would choose to beef up its fleet as it seeks to satisfy surging passenger traffic in Asia and fend off competitors.

Boeing shares were up 31 cents, or 0.5%, at $59.89.

Chicago-based Boeing has been on a winning streak recently as it seeks to wrest back leadership of world's commercial jet market from Airbus.

On Monday it announced that Air Canada would upgrade its wide-body fleet beginning with firm orders for 18 Boeing 777s and 14 of the company's 787 Dreamliners. The orders carry a total list price of about $6 billion. Boeing also said Air Canada has options on as 64 additional planes.

Also Monday, Boeing scored firm orders from Panama's

Copa Airlines

for five 737s and options for 10 more.

Boeing is hoping the 787, which will enter service in 2008, will give it a solid edge over Airbus. The plane uses lightweight composite materials, which Boeing says will help it consume 20% less fuel than comparably sized jets. That makes it attractive to airlines, which are struggling with near-record fuel costs. Targeted at the middle of the commercial jet market, the 787 will seat between 200 and 300 passengers and make medium- to long-range flights.

Airbus shareholders gave the go-ahead for a direct competitor to the 787 late last year, though the company has yet to officially announce development of the plane, which is named the A350 and based on the existing A330 model.