Boeing (NYSE:BA) said in a press release today it has increased the rate of production for its 777 wide-body airliner by 20%, the quickest production rate it has ever achieved for a twin-aisle airplane.

Improvements in technologies and the hiring of "hundreds of new employees," said Scott Fancher, 777 vice president and general manager, are what has allowed Boeing's Everett, Wash., plant to increase production to 8.3 per month.

"This rate increase reflects the strong demand for the 777," Fancher said.

The first airplane on the streamlined production line is a freighter version of the 777 for Korean Air. Delivery is scheduled for February of next year.

Turkish Airlines announced yesterday it has placed a firm order for 15 777-300ER airplanes and an optional order for five more. The first three aircraft will be delivered in 2014.

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