One Small Step for Boeing


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.

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At the time thisarticle 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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