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Watch the Plane Wars in Paris

A350-cockpit.jpg

AP is reporting that Airbus secured "huge" orders on the opening day of the Paris Air Show being held this week. According to the report "Airbus stole the spotlight from rival Boeing . . . announcing deals worth around $43 billion."

The article also mentions that while Airbus may have won the first round of the air show competition, they have a long way to go to regain the lead in the "traditional transatlantic rivalry." To date Boeing has received 584 orders for the 787 Dreamliner while Airbus has only received 105 orders for the A350 (including 92 orders yesterday - 80 from Qatar and 12 from Kuwait).

A more accurate tally will emerge at the Paris Air Show today as Boeing is predicted to announce additional Dreamliner sales during their press conference.

The world of commercial airline sales may seem far removed from the war in Iraq, but Boeing's fate here can be viewed as a barometer for foreign sentiment toward the U.S. And you can bet that a high opportunity cost to Boeing in that regard will play itself out in political arenas, including the 2008 Presidential race.

We'll keep you posted as the week goes on.

(Photo: A350 cockpit)

-- Ward

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