Boeing Wins Key Jet Orders

Boeing ( BA ) said Wednesday that it had received its first European orders for its new 7E7 Dreamliner, its new midsize, fuel-efficient jetliner.

The Chicago-based aerospace giant said that Blue Panorama of Italy and First Choice Airways of the U.K. had selected the plane to replace and expand their existing fleets.

Boeing said the carriers plan to acquire a total of 10 7E7s, valued at $1.2 billion at list prices. Blue Panorama will add four 7E7s to its fleet at a value of $500 million, and First Choice will receive six 7E7s. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2009.

The jetmaker said the deals were "ringing endorsements of the 7E7's broad appeal across a spectrum of airlines."

Japan's All Nippon Airways has already placed an order for 50 planes, valued at $6 billion. No U.S. airline has agreed to use the plane yet.

Boeing choose to develop the 7E7 instead of committing to the creation of a super jumbo jetliner, like its arch rival, Airbus.

Boeing shares closed at $49.31 Tuesday.

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