Boeing 777-300ER Expected To Become New Japanese Gov't Planes

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan is likely to adopt the Boeing 777-300ER as its new government aircraft to be used for overseas trips by the prime minister and imperial family members, government sources said Wednesday.

The government plans to make a final decision by the end of August about the new government planes to be put into service from fiscal 2019, the sources said.

Europe's Airbus S.A.S. has withdrawn from the bidding, according to the sources.

All Nippon Airways Co. is seeking to be an official maintenance provider for the new government jets, challenging Japan Airlines Co. which has previously provided the service.

The two major Japanese airlines both backed the B777-300ER as the next government aircraft, according to the sources.

The Defense Ministry stopped accepting offers from companies hoping to provide the aircraft and maintenance services Tuesday.

Under conditions set by the Japanese government, the new government airplanes must be able to fly directly to the U.S. East Coast.

The government has also said that the jets must be equipped with VIP rooms, executive offices and secure communications equipment, and their maintenance must be conducted domestically.