Boeing Seals Deal to Sell Planes to Iraq

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Boeing Co. said on Monday it sealed a $2.2 billion airliner order with the government of Iraq, as the country looks to ramp up commercial flights in the region.

The deal, which was originally struck in February, is for 30 of Boeing's single-aisle 737-800 jets, the world's most widely used planes for short-haul flights.

Boeing said it was still finalizing an agreement to sell Iraq 10 of its new 787 Dreamliners, worth about $1.65 billion at list prices, which would allow for longer, intercontinental flights.

Iraq, which is also buying commercial planes from Canada's Bombardier Inc., took options to buy a further 10 737s.

Under the deal, signed at a ceremony in Baghdad on Monday attended by Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Boeing commercial airplanes chief Scott Carson, the U.S. plane maker will advise Iraq on rebuilding its commercial airports, training personnel and arranging maintenance for old planes.

In the past few years Iraqi Airways, the country's state-controlled airline, has restarted limited service with aging jets, which some countries do not accept at their airports for safety reasons. The airline, the oldest in the Middle East, was grounded under United Nations' sanctions in the early 1990s.

Upon delivery of the new Boeing aircraft, Iraqi Airways plans to expand its network from the Middle East into Europe, India and China, an Iraqi aviation official said in February.

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