Boeing deliveries top '06 pace

span class='leadp'Boeing Co. delivered 18 percent more airliners in the second quarter, pushing the shipment tally so far this year above 2006 levels as the commercial-plane maker boosted 737 production. //span Deliveries climbed to 114 planes, including 86 of the next-generation version of the 737 and 21 of its 777 wide-body jets, the Chicago-based company said in a statement Thursday. The total is up from 97 a year earlier. / Boeing sped up its assembly lines to deliver 16 more 737s in the quarter, a 23 percent increase. The 737, Boeing's top seller, is popular with low-fare airlines and carries a list price of $50 million to $85 million. Boeing forecasts commercial shipments will rise as much as 12 percent this year to 440 to 445 planes as it benefits from two straight years of record orders. / Assembly time for 737s has been cut in half to 11 days since Boeing implemented a moving line in 1997. Boeing is converting 777 production to a moving assembly line similar to one used to build the 737. / The 777 is one of Boeing's most profitable aircraft, with a list price $200 million to $254 million. / Boeing also delivered four 747s and three 767s in the second quarter. / Boeing has now delivered 13 percent more jetliners in the first half of 2007 compared with year-earlier levels, with shipments totaling 220 versus 195 a year ago. During the first quarter, deliveries rose 8.2 percent, also fueled by the manufacture of more 737s. / Orders / Separately, Boeing said Thursday day it won an order from CIT Group Inc.'s aerospace unit for five more 787 Dreamliners. The deal doubles the number of 787s ordered by CIT to 10 planes. / In addition, a previously unannounced order for two 787s from Uzbekistan Airways was posted Thursday on Boeing's Web site. / Components for the 787 are being manufactured in Tulsa by Wichita-based Spirit AeroSystems Inc. / Boeing also disclosed an order for one 777 from Delta Air Lines Inc. and posted orders for 12 of its 737 model aircraft on the site without identifying a customer. / The planemaker now has a total of 544 orders through July 3, exceeding the 493 planes it had on order in the first half of last year, which set a record with 1,044 commercial planes ordered. / /The Tulsa World Business staff contributed to this report. /

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