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The Boeing Company (BA - Analyst Report) delivered its first next-generation 737-800 aircraft to one of Russia’s premier airline company, UTair. The 737 aircraft is equipped with the latest technological features which will meet the development needs of the airline and optimize their operating performance.

The 737-800 version comes in with the new Boeing Sky Interior which is the latest in a series of enhancements for both airlines and passengers. Currently, UTair has 40 Next Generation 737s on order from Boeing which are expected to be delivered in the years ahead.

The 737-800 variant has been Boeing’s bestseller in the single-aisle market and the next generation 737 family has won orders for over 6,500 aircraft while the entire 737 family has exceeded 11,000 orders to date. The single-aisle airplane is popular because of its wide market base, performance efficiency and lower operating cost.

Simultaneously, Boeing delivered the first next-generation 737-900 Extended Range ("ER") aircraft to EL AL Israel Airlines. The increase in airline activities in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East markets will contribute to substantial demand growth in the coming years.

The single-aisle aircraft will continue to dominate the emerging markets as the middle-income passenger count is expected to go up. The single-aisle fleet’s share in the global market is expected to increase from 14% to 20% by 2032. This will certainly keep Boeing’s cash register ringing in the future.

However, the company’s main rival Airbus continues to pose a stiff challenge. Boeing received a big blow as the company lost its long-time customer, Japan Airlines Co., to Airbus for a whopping $9 billion order.

The current government shutdown in the U.S. might also delay Boeing’s delivery of some of its commercial aircraft. Currently, Boeing carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

However, other better-placed aerospace and defense contractors include Zacks Ranked #2 (Buy) Erickson Air-Crane Inc. (EAC - Snapshot Report), Northrop Grumman Corp. (NOC - Analyst Report) and Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT - Analyst Report).

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