Boeing pushes ahead with 777X jet plans

The aircraft manufacturer is on track with plans to build its new flagship jet, but has yet to decide where manufacture will take place.

Thanks to a deluge of orders, Boeing is moving ahead with plans to build the new 777X jetliner -- but is yet to decide where. 

After launching the new jet on Sunday, the aerospace group has received a flood of orders, mainly from the Middle East. According to the Wall Street Journal, orders worth $100 billion were sent in from carriers including Emirates Airline, Etihad and Qatar Airways. 

Emirates alone has placed an order for 150 of the new aircraft in a deal worth $76 billion, Quatar took 50, and Etihad Airways has ordered 25. Germany's Lufthansa wants 34.  

The 777X jet is an upgraded version of the Boeing 777, with longer wings and a new GE engine. In addition, the two 777X jets -- the 777-8X and 777-9X -- have a range between 8,200 and 9,300 nautical miles, and room for 350 - 400 passengers. Due to the redesign, the new craft is meant to be far more fuel efficient. 

The head of Boeing, Jim McNerney, said that the firm will decide where to build the 777X in "two to three months," once an evaluation of locations other than its base near Seattle has been completed. 

Workers at Boeing's Puget Sound base recently rejected a new labor contract to build the new plane, but McNerney says there are a "number of alternative" locations. 

The company hopes to start building in 2017 in order to meet delivery deadlines set for 2020. 

The chairman says that it is possible for jets to be built outside of the United States, but Boeing has no current plans to do so.

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