Defense companies woo buyers at Paris Air Show

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American defense contractors elbowed into the troubled market for European military transport planes at the Paris Air Show today amid scarce orders for commercial planes for rivals Airbus and Boeing.

Plunging passenger numbers and tight credit have scaled back business at the world’s biggest air show this year, which has also been haunted by unresolved questions about the crash of Air France Flight 447.

So far, Airbus has made $6.1 billion in sales of 55 aircraft at the air show, well below the order tally in recent years. Archrival Boeing Co. has yet to place a single order at the show, which opened Monday.

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