is targeting a launch date for a newly improved version of its long-range 777 aircraft, the 777X, by the end of the year.
Currently, the airframe manufacturer is discussing more details on offering the 777X to potential customers. Boeing
officials spent a considerable amount of time during the Paris Air Show negotiating preliminary deals for the new aircraft, which are needed to win the executive board's approval for launching the program. The company expects the 777X to enter into service by 2020.
"Right now our focus is engaging in the marketplace, discussing more details in offering the airplane to customers, conditioned upon final approval to launch the program. The business case is maturing as planned as we gain further insights from our customers and develop our design and production system strategies," said Scott Lefeber, a spokesman for Boeing.
There are currently two planned variants for the 777X, the 777-8X in a 350-seat configuration and the 777-9X in a 400-seat configuration. The wide-body jet will be a competitor to the Airbus
A350 XWB, which is scheduled to enter into service next year. According to Lefeber, the 777X will have greater range capability than the A350-1000 which enters into service in 2017, and will have about 20 percent lower fuel consumption and 15 percent lower operating costs than today's 777.
Lefeber said the company does not currently have a list price in mind for the 777X. Currently, the price tag for the 777-300ER, its largest variant of the existing 777 model, is $315 million.
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