20071109 airbus a380 77299983 18
A young boy looks over an Airbus A380 at a stopover before flying to Dubai. - 


Doug Krizner: European plane maker Airbus has just clinched a multibillion-dollar deal with a plane-leasing company in Ireland. As Megan Williams reports, the sale is giving Boeing an early run for its money for 2008.

Megan Williams: It's a strong take-off for Airbus in the new year: an order of up to 100 jetliners to the Irish AWAS for almost $7 billion. With figures last year showing the European Airbus orders soaring just below the U.S. Boeing's, the pressure to surpass its rival this year is intense.

Last year, Boeing took almost 1,400 orders for jets, while Airbus has reported 1,200 as of November. It's expected to announce its final count for '07 next week.

Still, both figures outdo the industry high from a few years ago of over 1,000 orders a year. Despite flying high, however, analysts predict this year, sales will likely be headed down.

I'm Megan Williams for Marketplace.