EVENDALE, Ohio - Japan Airlines' (JAL) has launched the newest model 777s, the longer-range derivative of the 777-300 with an order to purchase eight aircraft.

"We are delighted to be a launch customer for the longer-range 777-300 airplane," said JAL President Isao Kaneko. "Our experience with the 777-200 and -300 models has been outstanding and we have great confidence in the economics and reliability of this new longer-range member of the 777 family."

The longer-range 777-300 is powered by General Electric GE90-115B engines, a derivative of the highly successful GE90.

"We are pleased with JAL's confidence in this terrific aircraft/engine combination,"; said Jim McNerney, president and CEO of GE Aircraft Engines. "The GE90-115B will deliver all of the benefits of the low-risk, mature GE90 currently in service, whose basic design already produces industry-leading performance and reliability as the 777 ETOPs fleet leader."

The GE90 is scheduled for U.S. Federal Aviation Administration type certification and validation in late 2002. The 777-300 longer-range derivatives is progressing toward type certification in the third quarter of 2003. Type certification recognizes that this particular engine/airframe combination will pass stringent testing and safety requirements, and is ready to enter passenger service.

"Our relationship with JAL spans three decades. We are very proud of this cooperative and long-standing relationship," said Alan Mulally, president, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group.

JAL was one of the launch customers on the 777 program and participated in the design phase of both the 777-200 and 777-300. The airline plans to use the airplane on its international routes replacing its 747 classics.