One Small Step for Boeing

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Boeing (NYS: BA) took one small step toward fulfilling investor hopes on Friday, when it announced that the FAA has certified its 747-8F freighter to enter commercial service. Simultaneously, Boeing confirmed that the 747-8F has received approval from Europe's FAA-analog, the European Aviation Safety Agency, to begin hauling cargo over the Continent.

Is this a big deal? Yeah, kinda. So far, Boeing has booked 78 orders for the new plane, from customers including Atlas Air (NAS: AAWW) , Cargolux, and General Electric's (NYS: GE) leasing arm. (That last one was a no-brainer. GE's manufacturing arm makes the engines for the 747-8, giving GE an interest in building momentum for the plane's sales.) And while that number pales in comparison with, say, the 200-odd plane-backlog for Boeing's uber-successful 737, it's still a significant book of business. At an average list price of $318 million, the 747-8F and its 747-8 passenger variant add up to billions in future revenues for Boeing -- more than half a year's revenues for the plane builder.

Even more significant for Boeing: The company's finally ready to begin delivering on its promises. Here's hoping next week brings similar good news on the 787 Dreamliner.

Is Boeing's stock price ready for liftoff?Add it to your Fool Watchlist, and find out.

At the time this article was published Fool contributorRich Smithowns no shares of any company named above. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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