Cathay Orders Boeing Freighters

Cathay Pacific Airways has ordered six 747 extended-range freighters from Boeing ( BA), continuing the recent streak of good news for the Chicago-based planemaker.

The aircraft are scheduled to arrive between May 2008 and April 2009. Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific currently operates 97 planes, 14 of which are freighters.

Separately, Boeing said it received a $46 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to continue providing combat-instructor services for fighter jets. The contract covers classroom, one-on-one and training-device instruction and will involve the F-15C, F-15E, F-16 and F-22A fighters.

Last week, Singapore Airlines signed a letter of intent to buy 20 passenger jets from Boeing that have a list price of $4.52 billion. Boeing has been riding high lately at the same time Airbus, the European maker of commercial jets, is facing a string of difficulties.

Some potential customers have criticized the design of the midsize A350, meant to compete with the Boeing 787, and earlier this month, Airbus said its massive A380, which would be the biggest passenger plane in the world, would be further delayed.

Shares of Boeing were down 91 cents, or 1.1%, to $84.94.

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