U.S. aircraft maker Boeing Co. said Friday it anticipates steady demand for its new 7E7 Dreamliner jets in Asia.

The midsize 7E7 “is right for a lot of airlines,” particularly those in Japan, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, said Thomas Pickering, Boeing’s senior vice president for international relations.

Boeing says the 7E7s, which carry 200 to 250 passengers, will be lighter and more fuel-efficient than other comparable models.

Pickering refused to give sales targets or details of continuing negotiations with Asian airlines. But he said that Boeing is in close contact with key customers to discuss “every aspect of the airplane.”

The company has said it plans to sell 2,000 to 3,000 of the 7E7 jets in the next 20 years, although it did not provide a regional breakdown for the sales.

About 35 percent of the 7E7 jets’ components will be made in Japan by the three suppliers — Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Fuji Heavy Industries. (The Associated Press)

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