A sales surge in December enabled Boeing to beat analyst expectations and achieve its largest-ever annual aircraft order total, and it should also be enough to exceed rival Airbus' orders for 2005. Boeing recorded 1,002 net orders last year, comfortably beating the previous record of 877 combined net orders in 1988 for Boeing and pre-merger McDonnell Douglas, the manufacturer said yesterday. Last year, Boeing achieved 272 net orders. The 2005 gross order total -- excluding ...

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