Boeing Looks To Japan For 7E7 Launch

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For the first time, Boeing may launch a new aircraft design with a non-U.S. carrier. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways may be the first to fly the 7E7 Dreamliner. In the past, Boeing has always worked closely with a U.S. airline in development of an airliner but cash-strapped airlines don't have the need or interest to get involved with the massive project now. According to the Journal, that sent Boeing looking offshore for potential launch customers and "serious" talks have been held with the Japanese carriers. Boeing has been coy about the future of the Dreamliner project but the Journal said the Japanese dialogue "is the most concrete sign yet of just how determined Boeing is to build the new model." As one project comes to life, the end of the line is coming for another familiar Boeing. The company has announced that production of the 757, first built in 1982, will cease late next year. More than 1,000 of the single-aisle, 200-seat airliners have been built but their market has shrunk in recent years. Boeing decided to pull the pin on the twin jet when Continental Airlines cancelled a 757 order in favor of more 737s. "This decision reflects the market reality for the 757," said Boeing CEO Alan Mulally. "The fact that Continental wants to move from 757s into more 737s is a clear indication of what most of the carriers have decided." Workers in Seattle are bracing for job cuts that might not be entirely mitigated by the 7E7 project. Boeing still hasn't announced where the new jet will be built.