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Analysts speculate on possible production ‘bubble’ for commercial aircraft



Are sales at major jet manufacturers Boeing and Airbus too hot to be sustainable? That’s what some analysts are asking as both companies show off lengthy order books pointing to a possible record-setting year for sales in 2012. The two companies booked more than 2,500 orders last year, slightly less than 2007’s peak. And while a handful of airlines have pared back their orders recently, both companies remain bullish on prospects for the next 20 years, as airlines in China and India continue to expand rapidly.  But as the companies ramp up production to meet their order commitments – as much as a 57 percent increase by 2014 – that could expose them to risk from swings in fuel prices if airlines renege on orders they can’t afford, experts cautioned. Boeing thinks the airlines will order $4 trillion worth of new aircraft by 2030, or more than 33,000 new planes in the skies. Both companies are betting that many of those planes will be updated narrowbody variants of the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.