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AIRSHOW-Boeing gets boost from United, lifts demand forecast

* Boeing raises 20-year industry demand forecast by 4 pct

* Boeing exec "very optimistic" about mid-market jet plan

* Boeing, Airbus clash over prospects for biggest planes (Adds AirAsia seen as potential air show wild card)

By Giulia Segreti and Matthias Blamont

PARIS, June 20 (Reuters) - Boeing Co won a key endorsement from United Airlines for the latest model of its best-selling 737 on Tuesday and struck an upbeat tone by raising its 20-year industry demand forecast despite signs the pace of growth is slowing.

A day after the launch of the 737 MAX 10 at the world's biggest air show in Paris, United said it would convert an order for 100 other 737 MAX planes to the new model.

Gerry Laderman, United senior vice president, said the MAX 10 had "the best economics of the family", a boost for a plane Boeing designed to plug a gap in its range at the top end of the market for single-aisle jets, following runaway sales of the rival Airbus A321neo.

The United deal brought the number of MAX 10s covered by air show order announcements to a higher than expected total of more than 320, though more than half were conversions and underlying new orders and commitments for Boeing stood closer to 160.

Despite the interest in the MAX 10, analysts expect passenger jet orders at the Paris Airshow to fall short of recent boom years, as airlines digest a flood of deliveries.

But over the longer term, Boeing sees an industry in rude health, forecasting 41,030 passenger and freight plane deliveries worth more than $6 trillion over...


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