Boeing 777 Boasts Nearly Spotless Safety Record

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The Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 239 people that lost contact with air traffic control Friday involved one of Boeing's most popular planes with a strong safety record.

The airline told NBC News that a search-and-rescue mission was under way for Flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200, which was traveling from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to Beijing in China.

Boeing told CNBC it was aware of the report and was monitoring the situation.

The company has delivered more than 1,000 777 aircraft since 1995. The National Transportation Safety Board has logged fewer than 60 incidents involving the aircraft since mid-1997, most of them minor.

The plane had had a nearly spotless record before the crash of an Asiana Airlines flight at San Francisco International Airport in July.

Three people were killed in the crash, and about 200 were taken to local hospitals.

The jet's fire-resistant interior and strong seats were credited with limiting casualties in the Asiana Airlines crash.

Prior to this incident, a British Airways 777 crash landed short of the runway at London's Heathrow Airport in January 2008. Nobody was injured in that accident. Director Todd Curtis, a former safety engineer with Boeing who worked on the 777, told CNBC last year the craft has a good record compared with any major aircraft that has been introduced in the past 20 years.