Boeing Co. accelerated the planned debut of its upgraded narrow-body jet while Airbus SAS said it would boost output of a rival model as they vied for advantage in the biggest part of the commercial-aircraft market.
Korean Air Lines Co. agreed to buy five Boeing Co. 747-8 passenger planes as part of a planned $3.6 billion purchase of wide-body aircraft, giving a sales boost to a jumbo jet whose output is being cut due to weak demand.
Boeing Co. said its stretched 787 Dreamliner promises to match sales of the smallest variant, boosting the plane’s order tally as much as 60 percent, as it expanded its wide-body lineup to blunt an Airbus SAS challenge.
Steven Udvar-Hazy, the self- proclaimed godfather of aircraft leasing, said Boeing Co.’s stretched Dreamliner has better fuel economy over Airbus SAS’s A350-900, making the new 787 attractive to airlines.
General Electric Co.’s aircraft leasing division agreed to buy 10 of the largest Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliners valued at about $2.9 billion, a boost for the planemaker’s decision to stretch the jet to add seats.
Boeing Co. defended the use of traditional aluminum for the fuselage of its upgraded 777 twin- aisle jet as Airbus SAS’s A350, a competing model made chiefly of composite plastic, takes the spotlight at the Paris Air Show.