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Boeing wins the battle of Dubai skies

Boeing edges out Airbus with the biggest deals at this year¿s Dubai Airshow as the European plane maker also endures public humiliation from Qatar Airways' chief executive.

Boeing edged out Airbus with the biggest deals at this year's Dubai Airshow but both plane makers deemed the event a success.

The US manufacturer began the show with a bang on Sunday after securing the US$18 billion (Dh66.1bn) sale of 50 of its 777 aircraft to Emirates Airline.

It was the single largest commercial aircraft order in Boeing's history by value and ensures this year was the best-selling year for its 777 programme.

"Dubai 2011 has been a very positive air show for Boeing," said Charlie Miller, the vice president of international communications at Boeing.

"We have sealed key agreements that mark a significant step forward in our partnerships in the UAE and across the Middle East."

Oman Air became a new customer for the 787 Dreamliner after announcing an order for six Boeing 787-8s.

Qatar Airways announced on Tuesday an order for two Boeing 777 freighters.

Meanwhile, Airbus won 211 orders and commitments worth $20.5bn at the show, helping the European plane maker to exceed its target of orders for the year.

"The order intake at the air show is the second-best we've ever had at Dubai," said John Leahy, Airbus' chief operating officer, customers.

Qatar Airways made the single largest Airbus order.

On Tuesday it ordered 50 A320neo aircraft and five A380 super jumbos in a deal worth $6.4bn at list prices.

But just prior to the announcement, Akbar Al Baker, the Qatar Airways chief executive, lambasted Airbus for "still learning how to make airplanes".

tarnold@thenational.ae

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