The Boeing Co. won orders for 65 jets in the past week, including 13 777s. Customers for the 777s, as well as two 747-8 freighters, were not identified.
For the year, Boeing has gross orders for 698 jets. The net total, which includes cancellations, is 688.
Airbus had 680 orders, not including cancellations, through June. That total will be updated shortly with the July numbers.
Until the Paris Air Show in mid-June, Boeing had a commanding lead over Airbus. But Airbus used the event to announce more than 400 orders.
Several significant airline campaigns remain to be decided this year, and how those break will determine if Boeing or Airbus wins the annual order battle.
British Airways has said it will decide in September on an order for more than 30 twin-aisle jets. It is considering the 787 and 747-8 from Boeing and the A380 and A350 from Airbus.
British Airways CEO Willie Walsh was in Toulouse last week to look at the A380 assembly line and for briefings on that plane as well as the A350. Before that, he was in Seattle for briefings and a tour of the 747-8 cabin mock-up and final assembly of the 787.
Sales of the 525-passenger A380, which will enter service with Singapore Airlines later this year after a two-year delay, have slowed, and Airbus needs another big-name new customer such as British Airways. And Boeing needs another prestigious airline to endorse its 747-8 Intercontinental passenger plane. Although sales of the 747-8 freighter have been strong, only Lufthansa has ordered the Intercontinental.
The 747-8 freighter will enter service in 2009 and the passenger version the next year.
Another airline campaign that is being closely watched is in the Middle East. Emirates has said it wants to decide before the end of the year whether to order up to 100 midsize jets from Boeing or Airbus. That contest is between the A350 and 787. Emirates has said it is mainly interested in the 787-10, a version of the Dreamliner that is expected to seat more than 300 passengers. Boeing, however, is still undecided on just how many passengers the 787-10 will carry. It would not enter service until at least 2014.
Delta Air Lines, which recently emerged from federal bankruptcy protection, is considering a large order for widebody planes. Delta has said it could order as many as 100 787s, including options. American Airlines also is considering the 787.
In a recent conference call with analysts and media to report second-quarter earnings, Boeing Chairman and Chief Executive Jim McNerney was asked if Boeing could end the year with more than 1,000 orders, as it did in 2006 and 2005. If the remaining campaigns this year go Boeing's way, McNerney said, it could reach 1,000 orders. But the company's internal projections are for fewer than 1,000 orders, he said.
Boeing beat Airbus in orders in 2006 for the first time since 2000.
The latest Boeing orders included 20 737s ordered by Canada's WestJet. The other 45 new orders were from unidentified customers - one 787 Boeing Business jet, 29 737s, two 747-8 freighters and 13 777s.
In its latest order update posted Thursday, Boeing also identified 10 previous orders that had been listed as from unidentified customers. Jet Airways ordered three 777s, and AeroSvit-Ukrainian Airlines ordered seven 737s.
The Kiev-based carrier also secured purchase rights for another seven.
This order marks AeroSvit's first direct purchase from Boeing since the carrier was founded in 1994. All-Boeing operator AeroSvit gradually will replace its fleet of 13 737 classic airplanes with next generation 737s.
"This order is significant for Ukrainian aviation. It demonstrates dedicated execution of our replacement strategy and is an indicator of Ukraine's current economic development and progress as an important player in international business and tourism," said Aron Mayberg, director general of AeroSvit.
AeroSvit operates three Boeing 767s on its long-haul services to destinations including Delhi, Bangkok, Shanghai, Beijing, Toronto and New York.
Although Boeing is likely to trail Airbus in orders when its rival adds the July tally to its total, Boeing has a solid lead in orders for widebody jets.
Boeing has dominated widebody orders the past three years on the strength of its 777 and 787. Airbus has been hurt by slow sales of its four-engine A340.
Boeing has won 327 gross orders for the 737. Not far behind is the twin-aisle 787 with 236 gross orders, followed by the 777 with 87 gross orders and the 767 with 36 gross orders. Boeing has sold 12 747-8s this year.
The gross totals do not include cancellations.
Through June, Airbus had announced 392 firm gross orders for its single-aisle A320 family, along with 152 orders for the twin-aisle A350, 112 orders for the twin-aisle A330 and 15 for the twin-aisle A340. It also has nine orders in 2007 for the A380.
P-I aerospace reporter James Wallace can be reached at 206-448-8040 or firstname.lastname@example.org Read his Aerospace blog at blog.seattlepi.com/aerospace.