Huh?

What's up with this?

In the words of the immortal Vinny Barbarino, "I'm so confused!" Every now and then I see something that makes me realize that economics really is the the "dismal science." If there's anybody out there who understands, please step forward and make yourself known!

Peter Kretzmer, economist at Bank of America, said manufacturing production is moving past its soft patch, capital goods demand is picking up after a tax-related slowness in the first quarter and airplane orders are surging.

Indeed, some economists have raised their estimate for May durable goods data to as high as 4% after Boeing Co. said it received orders for 200 airplanes in May.
MarketWatch.com (18-Jun-05)

Hello!?!? United Airlines is in bankruptcy. US Airways is in bankruptcy. Delta is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Northwest is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Southwest is one of the very few airlines consistently profitable.

"Airplane orders are surging" ???? How is it possible that so many airlines have sought bankruptcy protection or are threatening to do so, but "airplane orders are surging"? Who's buying airplanes? Is there somebody out there who knows something the rest of us don't know?

Assuming these are commercial airplanes (versus military planes), Boeing would be the principal US manufacturer. Comparing the stock price of Boeing (BA) with the airlines index (XAL) we see that since December 2003 these have gone in opposite directions (see below). How can this be?

Boeing versus airlines index

I'm so confused!