Airbus is likely to win in final tally

And the orders keep coming.

OceanAir, a Brazilian carrier that plans to add domestic and international flights in Latin America, said Wednesday it has agreed to buy seven A330-200 widebody planes from Airbus, as well as 14 A319s and seven A320s.

Heading into 2007, neither Boeing nor Airbus expected to have the kind of year both have enjoyed. But the current industry boom - the industry's best ever - has not slowed. It followed the industry's worst-ever downturn, which tarted even before the Sept. 11 attacks sent airlines, especially those in the United States, into a financial tumble.

In recent interviews, top executives at Boeing and Airbus have said they believe orders could peak this year and drop sharply in 2008.

But they have said that before.

Still to be heard from in the current heated order cycle are the legacy U.S. carriers that held off buying large numbers of new jets to replace old ones because they needed to first recover financially. Delta, Continental, American and United all could place sizable orders in 2008 or 2009.

"We all thought 2005 was a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Scott Carson, chief executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, told Bloomberg news in an interview after the Dubai air show. "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 years. If you asked us to forecast, we'd probably say next year will be more moderate."

P-I aerospace reporter James Wallace can be reached at 206-448-8040


Read his Aerospace blog at %% BOEING ORDERS

Boeing is having a record year for orders. The tally as of Wednesday:

Model Gross orders

737 584

787 290

777 127

747 20

767 36

Total 1,057 %%

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