The Boeing Company today confirmed the launch of the first member of the 21st century Boeing 747 family of airplanes, following an order announcement for six Longer-Range 747-400 (formerly called the 747-400X) airplanes with Australia's flag carrier Qantas. The airplanes will enter service in 2002. The Longer-Range 747-400 is the same size as today's 747-400 but has more range or "payload" capability. It blends the latest in passenger amenities found in the 777 with exceptional performance to support long-range, non-stop, high-demand routes. The Longer-Range 747-400 has an increased takeoff weight of 910,000 pounds (412,770 kilograms) allowing operators to fly about 500 miles (435 nautical, 805 kilometers) farther or carry 15,000 pounds (6,800 kilograms) more payload, either in the form of extra cargo or a full load of 416 passengers.