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Air-India places $8B Boeing order
Purchase tightens race between Boeing and its European rival Airbus for jet aircraft business.
April 26, 2005: 1:23 PM EDT

NEW DELHI (CNN) - The board of India's state-owned international airline, Air-India, approved an order to purchase 50 Boeing aircraft worth $8 billion Tuesday, Boeing executives in Mumbai confirmed to CNN.

Senior Boeing executive Dinesh Keskar said it's the company's biggest deal ever in India and one of the most lucrative anywhere for the aircraft manufacturer.

While the deal was approved at the Air-India board meeting in Mumbai, it still must get official clearance from the Indian government.

Once the sale and delivery are complete, Air-India will have an all-Boeing fleet. The new aircraft will replace the airline's Airbus models.

The order for Boeing Co. -- which has vowed to end the dominance of European rival Airbus -- comes on the heels of a $5 billion Boeing order from Air Canada Monday.

The orders also come in the same week that Airbus will launch its headline-grabbing A380 super-jumbo, which will have its maiden flight Wednesday.

The Boeing planes included in the deal are eight 777-200LR ultra long-range models, 15 777-300ER long-range aircraft with 350 seats and 27 787 long-range aircraft with 250 seats.

Shares of Boeing (down $0.30 to $59.28, Research) edged lower in afternoon trading.

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