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Boeing exec optimistic

LONDON, Feb 19 – Boeing will be the world\’s largest civil aircraft maker once again, a top executive from the US company vowed in Friday\’s edition of the Financial Times.

The company would take the top spot from European rivals Airbus within four years, predicted Jim Albaugh, who has served as the head of the company\’s commercial aircraft business since September.

Earlier this month, the company announced that the latest version of its 747 jumbo jet had taken to the skies for the first time.

The 747-8 is Boeing\’s answer to the A380, the super-jumbo aircraft made by European rival Airbus.

Boeing also produces the 747, 767, 777 and the new 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which shares the same advanced technologies as the new 747-8.

"As we start delivering the 787 on top of the already pretty robust 737 and 777 lines… you\’re going to see the number of deliveries we have in 2013 and 2014 go up significantly from where they are today," Albaugh told the FT.

"We might deliver a few more airplanes than them (Airbus) in that time frame."

European aircraft maker Airbus announced in January it had outperformed US rival Boeing in 2009 as the top producer in the world with 498 plane deliveries and 310 orders.

Boeing registered 481 deliveries and 263 orders over the year. It first lost its number one spot to Airbus in 2003.

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