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Boeing’s Conner Sticking to 777 Jet’s Upgrade Plan

Boeing Co. said it’s sticking to its schedule for developing an upgrade of the 777 wide-body plane, its most profitable jet, that will enter service by the end of the decade.

“Our timing on a decision to offer that airplane has not changed,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes President Ray Conner wrote in a message to employees today. “We are absolutely committed to the 777X and continue to invest the necessary time and resources to ensure we produce a superior airplane for our customers.”

The development of a stretch version of the Dreamliner, called the 787-10X, continues as well, Conner wrote. The Seattle Times reported today, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter, that Boeing had slowed down the development process.

Boeing’s former commercial president, Jim Albaugh, had talked earlier this year about taking a plan for selling the wide-body jets to the board for approval by the end of 2012. After Conner was appointed June 26, he said the plan will be presented once it’s ready, comments that were repeated in today’s message.

Boeing’s larger rival, Airbus SAS, plans to introduce the A350-1000 in 2017 to compete with the 777 and 787.

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