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Two Boeing rivals win airliner orders

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on Jan. 18, 2011 at 2:51 pm with No Comments »
January 18, 2011 4:51 pm

Two overseas Boeing Co. rivals won significant orders today for a total of 75 aircraft.

Russia’s Sukhoi won an order for 15 of its 98-passenger SuperJets from Mexico’s Interjet Holdings. The airline company also took options for five additional planes.

The SuperJet is a new, twin-engine plane that seats coach class passengers five abreast in seats wider than Boeing’s 737. The order is worth some $650 million at list prices.

Meanwhile, San Francisco-based Virgin America has firmed up an order for 60 new Airbus A320 jetliners. Thirty of those planes will be A320neos, the new re-engined version of Airbus’s most popular plane.

The order along with planes from other sources will allow Virgin America’s fleet to grow to 111 aircraft by 2019. The A320neo will use new engines either from Pratt & Whitney or CFM to cut fuel consumption by as much as 15 percent.

Boeing has contemplated adding those engines to its popular 737 line of aircraft, but the planemaker appears to be leaning toward producing an all-new plane instead that will appear a few years after the A320neo’s 2016 debut.

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