Boeing Co. on Wednesday debuted its new 777 freighter, a twin-engine airplane that can carry 226,000 pounds of cargo.
Also Wednesday, Boeing announced it is laying off 750 employees in southern California, most of them engineers, because of a downturn in its satellite assembly and integration business.
The job cuts come as a result of the company's loss to rival Lockheed Martin a bid to head up a $3.5 billion program to build a GPS satellite to be used in the U.S. space program.
The company said the plane will be capable of flying 4,885 nautical miles with a full payload and general cargo market densities. The new freighter will become the world's longest-range twin-engine freighter.
To date, Boeing has 78 orders from 11 customers, accounting for more than 20 percent of the 777 program's backlog. Orders have been received from China Southern Airlines; Deucalion, which will lease to AeroLogic; Emirates; FedEx; GECAS; Guggenheim Aviation Partners; Korea Air; LAN Airlines; Oak Hill; and Qatar Airways.
The freighter will begin a flight test and certification program in June. The first delivery is scheduled to be made to Air France in the fourth quarter.