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Originally published Thursday, November 15, 2007 at 12:00 AM

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Airbus, Boeing: Jet orders peak

Airbus and Boeing said that this year will mark the peak in orders, beating a record set in 2005, and that sales will dwindle in the next...

Airbus and Boeing said that this year will mark the peak in orders, beating a record set in 2005, and that sales will dwindle in the next 12 months.

The plane makers won contracts worth almost $70 billion at list prices at the Dubai Airshow this week. Airbus sold 297 jetliners and Boeing 155, putting the pair on course to exceed 2005's 2,057 orders.

The combined tally may be about 800 to 1,000 next year, Airbus sales chief John Leahy said in an interview, marking a return to "normal trend levels."

Both companies have benefited from a jump in sales to Asia and the Persian Gulf, where oil-rich states are using their wealth to establish tourist and travel hubs.

While Middle Eastern countries account for 10 percent of Airbus' backlog, they have contributed 30 percent of orders this year.

Added to the 1,021 orders for Airbus through October, the contracts from Dubai mean the company has already topped its record of 1,111 set in 2005.

Boeing orders announced at the show include some counted in the 956 accrued as of Nov. 6. The U.S. company's record is 1,226 orders, set in 1989.

Scott Carson, chief executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said demand from the Persian Gulf has established Dubai as a show to rank alongside Paris and Farnborough in the U.K.

"We all thought 2005 was a once-in-a-lifetime experience," he said in an interview. "All of us walked into 2007 believing we'd have a more moderate year, but it's been on pace with what we've seen in the last two.

"If you asked us to forecast, we'd probably say next year will be more moderate."

2 Mideast airlines

boost 787 orders

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Royal Jordanian Airlines, Jordan's state-owned carrier and the first Mideast airline to buy Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, ordered two more 787-8s.

They have a list price of $324 million, but based on price estimates by aircraft-valuation firm Avitas, the airplanes are worth about $217 million after standard discounts.

Royal Jordanian had ordered two of the planes in May.

Separately, LCAL, a Dubai-based aircraft-leasing company, ordered six 787-8 Dreamliners, valued at $972 million at list prices. Using Avitas market valuations, the deal is worth about $650 million after discounts.

The order, placed earlier this month, will swell the company's fleet of 787s to 21.

Bloomberg News

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