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Boeing Live Event Coverage

Seattle Times aerospace reporter Dominic Gates covers top industry events to bring you the latest news, highlighting how it impacts Boeing and its competitors.

July 12, 2012 at 11:59 AM

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Big United order allows Boeing to claim a successful Air Show week

The last real working day of a fascinating but low-key Farnborough Air Show ended with a firm order from United Airlines for 100 of Boeing's future 737 MAX single-aisle jets and 50 more current generation 737NGs.

It was a big deal, 50 percent bigger than expected. Valued at $14.7 billion at list prices, in reality it was worth roughly $7.7 billion after standard discounts, according to market data from aircraft valuation firm Avitas.

That's enough to crown Boeing's Air Show week as a success.

Six deals this past week provided the MAX with sales momentum. It now has commitments from 18 customers for just over 1,200 of the jets. Of those, 649 are firm orders.

Mind you, some of that momentum is manufactured, by the sleight of hand typical of Air Show announcements.

Some of the commitments Boeing announced were already part of its stated tally of about 1,000 commitments it had at the beginning of the year. The only thing new at the show was the name of the customer.

Still, that MAX order and commitments tally has grown this week by some 200 planes and by two customers. That's progress.

Boeing's final order tally for the Air Show, including those phoned-in from Chicago, was 396 orders or commitments, of which 251 are firm orders.

Boeing's vice president of marketing Randy Tinseth, buoyed by the United order, had only positive thoughts.

"We came into the Show and one of the things we wanted to do was make progress on the MAX," said Tinseth. "We are very pleased with where we are."