Boeing’s yet-to-be-launched into service flagship aircraft, the Boeing 777X, seems to be delayed yet another time, and this does not sound like good news for Boeing, its customers or their customers. The Boeing 777X was supposed to initially be entering service in 2020, but then it became 2021, then 2022, then 2023, and now, the entry into service has moved to 2025. This makes it a long, 5-year delay for the aircraft to come to its customers.
The Boeing 777X is Boeing’s upgraded version of the Boeing 777, which has been their long-haul workhorse. When it will enter service, the 777X will be the largest commercial passenger jet of its time, given the A380 has ceased production and so has the 747-8 programme. The programme took its first flight in January 2020 and has since then seen delays on account of a lot of different issues, directly or indirectly related to the programme.
The first Boeing 777X test aircraft was however displayed at the Dubai Airshow 2021, and we got a trip onboard as well.
Boeing expected to move EIS to 2025
As per reports by Reuters, and now confirmed in Boeing’s first-quarter results for 2022, Boeing has stated that the delivery of the first 777X is expected in 2025, “which reflects an updated assessment of the time required to meet certification requirements.”
Boeing is now looking at certification of the Boeing 777X by later 2024, and deliveries are expected to begin in early 2025. It seems that for Boeing, the priorities have shifted in the time being, with one of them being to win approval from the FAA to ensure the 787 programme is back up to speed (FAA halted deliveries in 2021 because of structural issues with the 787 aircraft), and the 737 MAX 10 version is also higher up on the priority order, given it is running into a 2022 deadline set by the US lawmakers, which, if Boeing misses, they will have to go back to the drawing board with respect to the cockpit alerts design altogether. That just means that it is no longer a common cockpit as compared to the 737 MAX 7 and 737 MAX 8 altogether then.
Not just that, Boeing will adjust the rate at which the 777X will be produced, and Boeing is also going to put a pause on the manufacturing of the 777X through 2023.
A lot is riding for the customers of the aircraft as well. Emirates has publicly mentioned their frustration with the programme delays many a time. Many airlines expected to put new products in line with a new aircraft type being launched. For instance, Cathay Pacific would put a new First and Business Class, Singapore Airlines was expected to put a new First Class, Lufthansa was going to debut a new Business Class and so on.
Boeing is shifting the goalpost on the 777X, again. From an initial entry into service in 2020, it now looks like the first jets will be handed over to customers in 2025. This has been on various accounts, and not all of these have been under Boeing’s control. But overall, that just means the next big aircraft will be postponed further into the future and will impact customer plans.
What do you make of the delay in the launch of the new 777X aircraft?
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