Boeing 777X debut to slide to 2022 says Emirates COO
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
For years now Boeing has been working on developing the 777X, the largest twin-engine jet ever produced and the latest iteration of its incredibly successful 777 series, which has become the long-haul workhorse for many airlines.
The 777X took its first test flight in January of this year, with deliveries scheduled to begin to launch customer Lufthansa Airlines in 2021. However, Emirates Chief Operating Officer Adel Al Redha said in an interview with Executive Traveller last week that he expects Boeing to miss that deadline, and that Emirates doesn’t expect to receive any 777Xs until 2022.
Get the latest points, miles and travel news by signing up for TPG’s free daily newsletter.
While the 777X development process had already faced a number of delays, the shutdown of Boeing’s production operations at the height of the coronavirus pandemic will only push the timetable further. The plane still needs to complete an extensive certification process by the FAA, which is likely to be even more exhaustive given the problems that plagued Boeing’s last new product, the 737 MAX. That aircraft has been grounded since early 2019 after a pair of fatal crashes that claimed the lives of 346 passengers and crew.
These delays come at a time when airlines around the globe are looking to defer or cancel aircraft orders, as they bet on a slow recovery to pre-pandemic travel levels. Recently Norwegian Air canceled an order for 97 Boeing aircraft, including 92 737 MAXs and 5 787 Dreamliners.
Emirates is currently the largest 777 operator, with 153 passenger and cargo 777s in its fleet. Emirates has 115 777Xs on order, nearly twice as many as any other airline and more than a third of the total order backlog for the new plane.
Al Redha also said in the interview that Emirates would be negotiating with Boeing about the possibility of swapping some of its 777X orders for smaller 787 Dreamliners. This would allow Emirates to take delivery of aircraft sooner, as well as better match expected demand in the coming years. Emirates currently has 30 787-9 aircraft on order, as it works to develop a fleet plan for a post-Airbus A380 world.
While ongoing economic shutdowns have been bad for manufacturers around the world, they’ve hit Boeing at an especially difficult time as the company works to get the 777X into service and get the 737 MAX recertified to fly. Boeing hasn’t made a formal announcement yet, but Emirates believes that the 777X delivery timeline will slip into 2022. Given the current state of air travel many airlines will be secretly happy about these delays, though it may also cause some to shrink their orders or switch to smaller 787 Dreamliner aircraft like Emirates is considering.
Featured image courtesy of Boeing.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.