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Battle For the Plane Truth

Even as they battle for customers among the worlds airlines, Seattle-based Boeing Co. and Airbus Industrie, a European consortium, are hurling market statistics at each other. The only number they agree upon is Airbus deliveries in 1997. They totaled 182. Boeings Commercial Airplane Group claims 502 net orders valued at $39.1 billion in 1997 for itself--and, in an unusual move, is publicly calculating that Airbus had 438 net orders worth $27.8 billion. Airbus prefers to report orders and commitments in 1997 for 671 aircraft valued about $44.2 billion. Jean Pierson, Airbus managing director, claims the consortium is now well on the way to consistently taking a 50% market share early in the next century.

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