Boeing [NYSE:BA] has resumed development of its ultra-long-range 777 airplane, the 777-200LR (Longer Range). This new jet will fly more than 9,100 nautical miles (nearly 17,000 kilometers) for nonstop trips such as Singapore to New York, Dallas to Hong Kong, Mumbai, India to Los Angeles and Chicago to Sydney.
The 777-200LR, with a capacity of 301 passengers in a three-class configuration, is the fifth member of the 777 family. The airplane also will carry up to 18 tons (16 tonnes) of cargo on routes that are payload limited for all other airplanes.
Pakistan International Airlines and EVA Airways of Taiwan have ordered a total of five 777-200LRs. Pakistan International Airlines will receive the first in January 2006.
Work on the 777-200LR was halted in October 2001 as a result of world events. At that time, engineers had completed about 10 percent of the design.
The 777-200LR is one of two new longer-range 777 models being developed. The 777-200LR nearly doubles the original 777's range to 9,170 nautical miles (16,983 kilometers) from 5,210 nautical miles (9,649 kilometers). A second longer-range 777, the 777-300ER, currently is in flight-testing. It will carry 365 passengers up to 7,420 nautical miles (13,742 kilometers). The first 777-300ER will be delivered in April 2004.
"We believe there is a strong market for the both the 777-200LR and 777-300ER airplanes," said Lars Andersen, Boeing 777 Longer Range program manager. "As the world's economy improves and travel growth returns, we're convinced that we'll see additional sales.
"Experience demonstrates that passengers prefer point-to-point nonstop service," he added. "And these new long-range twins offer the airlines superb economy and the passenger superb comfort -- it's a winning combination."
Manufacturing of the first 777-200LR is expected to begin in October 2004. It will roll out of the factory in January 2005, and shortly thereafter begin a six-month flight-test program.
GE Aircraft Engines [NYSE: GE] produces engines for the 777-200LR and 777-300ER. The GE90-115B engines are recognized as the world's most powerful commercial jet engines, and currently hold the Guinness World Record for thrust.
The 777 family has captured nearly 70 percent of the market since it was launched in October 1990. Thirty-nine customers and operators worldwide own and operate 619 777s, including 61 Longer-Range 777s ordered by seven customers: Air France, All Nippon Airways, EVA Airways, GE Capital Aviation Services, International Lease Finance Corp., Japan Airlines and Pakistan International Airlines.