Virgin Blue Holdings, Ltd., today confirmed that the Brisbane- based company has ordered six Boeing 777-300ER jetliners, with options for six more, and will lease one additional 777-300ER. The new airplanes will allow Virgin Blue to establish its new long-haul airline, providing service from Australia to the United States and other destinations. The six-airplane order is valued at $1.5 billion at list prices. Virgin Blue currently operates an all-Boeing fleet of 53 Next-Generation 737s. In addition, Boeing said that Virgin Blue had exercised options for five 737-800s that were attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries Web site in late 2006. These airplanes are valued at $350 million.
Lumera to continue government work
Lumera Corp. of Bothell has received an extension of a U.S. government contract to develop advanced wideband optical modulators. The year-long contract is valued at more than $1.1 million; the overall contract value has reached $6.9 million. Lumera is developing better modulators for fiber-optic systems that are expected to deliver increased bandwidth.
Fishermen’s tribute group meets today
A group hoping to create a waterfront tribute to Everett’s commercial fishing fleet will meet at 2 p.m. today at the Everett Public Library, 2702 Hoyt Ave. The group will review information about writing a book on the fleet and will hear a report on a visit to the Fishermen’s Memorial in San Pedro, Calif.
Strong sales lift Oracle profits
Oracle Corp.’s fiscal third-quarter profit climbed 35 percent, lifted by strong software sales. The software maker said Tuesday that it earned $1.03 billion for the three months ended in February. That compared with net income of $765 million at the same time last year.
Home building rises in February
New home construction rebounded in February following a steep January slide. But analysts pointed to a further decline in building permits as a worrisome signal of future problems for the troubled housing industry. Construction of new homes and apartments rose 9 percent in February, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.
Fed meeting to consider rates
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues are expected to strike a reassuring tone about the country’s economic health today despite persistent worries that problems with risky mortgages could spread.
Officials pursue patent complaint
Microsoft says French telecom Alcatel-Lucent infringed on its patents for unified communications products, and the U.S. International Trade Commission on Tuesday voted to begin a probe. The company is asking the ITC to bar Alcatel-Lucent from importing products that it says infringes on three patented technologies.
From Herald staff and news services