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New Dreamliner steps up big jet battle

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 01:31

Jun.18 - Boeing has launched a larger version of its flagship Dreamliner aircraft at the Paris Air show, intensifying the battle with rival Airbus in the booming market for fuel-efficient, long-haul jets. Julian Satterthwaite reports.

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It's another huge year for aircraft orders. Among the deals on day two of the Paris Airshow, an 11 billion dollar order from Easyjet for 100 or more of Airbus's best-selling A320 jets. Boeing has plenty to celebrate too. The US giant has just launched a new version of the 787 Dreamliner and says it has more than 100 firm orders for it worth nearly $30bln. The stretched jet is its response to Airbus's new A350, which flew for the first time just days before the Paris show. Now Boeing says the bigger Dreamliner will fly with launch customers including United and British Airways. But it's not just the big two getting in on the action. Bombardier wants to take on Airbus and Boeing with its new CSeries jet. It's due to fly for the first time later this month. CEO Pierre Beaudoin. SOUNDBITE (English) Bombardier CEO, Pierre Beaudoin, SAYING: "The flight program is scheduled for one year, so we'll have 5 aircraft of our CS100 doing all kinds of tasks to get the airplane certified. And we feel good about delivering the first aircraft mid- 2014." Bombardier is also celebrating new orders. The company says it's selling 20 of the CSeries planes to UK startup Odyssey Airlines. But the order is already dogged by controversy, with reports that Odyssey lacks financial backing and may not have permission to fly the routes it's intending to operate. For now at least, it looks like the biggest smiles in Paris will be found, as usual, on the faces of Airbus and Boeing executives.

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New Dreamliner steps up big jet battle

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 01:31