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Boeing wins $150 mln order from Czech airline

Boeing Co. won an order from Travel Service AS, the largest private airline company in the Czech Republic, for two 737 jets worth $150 million at list price. The purchase of Next-Generation 737-900ERs also includes rights to buy two more of the airplanes, Chicago-based Boeing said in a statement yesterday. Prague-based Travel Service operates an all-Boeing fleet of 10 737s now. The 737 is the best-selling family of planes at Boeing, the world's second-largest maker of commercial jets. Travel Service will be the fourth European carrier to use the higher-capacity, longer-rage 737-900ER, and Boeing has a total of 80 orders for the planes since the July 2005 debut. The 737-900ER competes with bigger rival Airbus SAS's A321 model, and Boeing said its jet has a 9% lower operating cost per trip than the Airbus plane.

The Boeing 737-900ER is the largest member of the 737 airplane family and can carry more passengers and fly farther than the 737-900. The derivative seats up to 215 passengers and flies up to 3,200 nautical miles (5,925 kilometers), making the range comparable to the 737-800. The airplanes are fitted with Blended Winglets, which create an additional 3% to 5% in fuel efficiency, and provide a reduction in community noise at takeoff. As of August 31, 2006, 100 customers have placed orders for more than 3,300 Next-Generation 737s; the program has 1,360 unfilled orders with a value of about $91 billion at current list prices.

Boeing had 666 total commercial jet orders as of September 27, putting CEO James McNerney ahead of where he was at this time in 2005, when bookings set a record. The Boeing 737-900ER is the newest member of the Next-Generation 737 airplane family, the world's best-selling jet airplane family. The higher capacity, longer-range derivative of the 737-900 was launched on July 18, 2005 with an order for 30 airplanes from Indonesia 's Lion Air. The 737-900ER has a list price of $70 million to $80.5 million per jet, spokeswoman Sandy Angers said. Shares of Boeing rose $1.81 to $81.78 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. They have gained 16% this year. (, Bloomberg)