Boeing is demonstrating its belief in the growing sales potential of the 777 in the best way possible - showing off the product to the full.

The 777-200LR on static display here features the most ambitious interior design the manufacturer has created for an air show. Customers can "come and see what the art of the possible is in interior terms," says 777 programme manager Lars Andersen.

The aircraft, the second flight test example of the ultra long-range version, shows proposed first class and business class cabins, a bar area and a simulated A340 cross-section to highlight the width difference between the Airbus and Boeing products. The maximum cabin width on the 777 is 5.86m, compared to 5.28m on the A340, says Boeing.

With strong traffic growth, Boeing is seeing airlines bringing fleet renewal decisions forward, and this will translate into more 777 sales this year. "Based on what we're seeing we are liable to do better than expected in 2005," says Andersen.

Boeing does not reveal numbers, but analysts estimate it produces some 55 777s per year. The production rate for this year and next will remain on the manufacturer's current plan, with no ramp-up at present. "We see ourselves filling up the skyline with that plan," he adds.

If commitments from Air Canada and Air India are firmed up as expected, the manufacturer has already beaten its 777 sales haul of 42 aircraft in 2004. By late May it had won 44 orders and commitments.

Source: Flight Daily News