Orders fly in for Boeing

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Boeing and Continental Airlines announced that Continental has converted 12 of its existing orders for Next-Generation 737 jetliners to 737-900ERS.

The announcement follows a Continental decision last August to become the first airline in the Americas and the first two-class carrier to order Boeing's newest and largest-capacity member of the 737 family, the -900ER. With this conversion, Continental now has orders for 24 737-900ER jetliners.

According to Boeing, the 737-900ER offers lower operating costs per trip and lower operating costs per seat than the A321, which is more than 10,000 pounds (4,536 kg) heavier.

The 737-900ER's enhanced performance is attributed to a series of aerodynamic and structural design changes that include: strengthened wings, a two-position tailskid and enhancements to the leading and trailing-edge flap systems, which provide the 737-900ER higher takeoff weight capability and increased range than the base model.

Boeing also announced this week that Nakash Group of America has ordered two of its 787-9 Dreamliners.

Nakash Group of America is a multi-national, multi-billion dollar conglomerate that owns Arkia Israeli Airlines. Arkia, based in Tel Aviv, will operate the 787s, making it the first airline in Israel to offer 787 services to its passengers.

The order is valued at $366m at list prices. Deliveries are in 2012. Nakash Group also secured options for two 787-9s.

Arkia will use the 787s to serve destinations in North America and the

Far East

. The carrier is evaluating the two engine options for the 787, which are the General Electric GEnx and the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000.