The Boeing Company ended 2011 having sold about half as many airplanes as its France-based rival, Airbus. Now, less than a month into the new year, Boeing has inked its largest deal ever with a European airline. The aerospace giant is on track to overtake Airbus for the first time in years. From France, Liam Moriarty reports.
Oslo-based Norwegian Air Shuttle is the first European carrier to buy Boeing's revamped 737 MAX -- 100 of them. The deal is seen as another industry vote of confidence in the updated version of Boeing’s workhorse model.
The 737 MAX’s new energy-efficient engines are proving popular with airlines struggling with rising fuel costs. Airbus got a jump on Boeing last year by introducing its own energy-efficient narrow-body jetliner before Boeing decided to get into that market.
But analysts say Boeing is well-positioned to regain that ground with the 737 MAX. Company officials hope to book 1,500 orders for the new plane this year.
As part of a recent labor contract, Boeing has pledged to build the 7-37 MAX in the Puget Sound area.
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