SEATTLE, Nov. 28, 2000 -- The Boeing Company confirmed the launch of the first member of the 21st century Boeing 747 family of airplanes - the Longer-Range 747-400 - based on today's announcement from Qantas Airways for six of the jumbo jets. The Longer-Range 747-400 (formerly called the 747-400X) will enter service with Australia's flag carrier in 2002.
"The 747 has been the driver of this airline's long-haul success since 1971," Qantas Chairman Margaret Jackson said today. "The increased capabilities of the Longer-Range 747 will give us an excellent competitive edge, particularly on ultra-long haul Pacific routes."
Today's commitment for the Longer-Range 747-400 comes on the heels of repeat orders for eight Boeing 777-200ERs and three 767-300ERs from Japan Airlines.
"We are very pleased with this week's orders for all three Boeing widebodies from premier airlines in the Asia-Pacific region," said Alan Mulally, president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Our customers really value the Boeing airplane family's capability to deliver global, point-to-point travel services."
Mulally noted that the addition of the Longer-Range 747-400 adds another significant milestone in Qantas' proud history -- becoming the first airline to select the newest model of the most recognized airplane in the world. Qantas Airways, which recently celebrated its 80th anniversary, operates an integrated fleet of 107 airplanes including 38 Boeing 737s, 33 - 767s, and 36 - 747s. Qantas subsidiary airlines operate another 44 airplanes. Next year, Qantas will celebrate its 30th year of continuous 747 service, with the latest technological advancements.
"Qantas led its part of the world by introducing Boeing 747 service and setting the standard for a superior in-flight experience," said Seddik Belyamani, Boeing Commercial Airplanes executive vice president - Sales. "We are confident that the Qantas reputation for customer service will be further enhanced with the Longer-Range Boeing 747-400."
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). This takeoff weight increase of 35,000 pounds (15,876 kilograms) over existing -400s allows 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.
The Longer-Range 747-400 is the lead member of what Boeing envisions as a 21st century 747 family. The 747X family includes the 747X and 747X Stretch, either of which will enter service in 2005. The 747X will be the world's longest-range airplane, capable of flying more than 10,300 miles (8,975 nautical miles, 16,640 kilometers) while the 747X Stretch becomes the world's largest 747, with three-class seating for more than 520 passengers.
The 747X family incorporates the comfort, spaciousness and technological features of the Boeing 777, which is on pace to set a record for orders in 2000. The Longer-Range 777s, Longer-Range 747-400 and 747X family provide "customer-focused solutions for the long-range market," Belyamani said. He added that passengers consistently prefer non-stop, point-to-point travel.
Qantas operates approximately 540 international flights a week from Australia to 63 destinations in 35 countries.
The Boeing family of commercial airplanes ranges in size from the 100-seat 717 to the almost 600 seats of the 747-400 Domestic model. In addition, Boeing offers the broadest array of services to support the more than 11,000 Boeing airplanes in service around the world. This unsurpassed combination of products and services provides total solutions for the aviation industry.