Boeing 777X Makes Airshow Debut At Dubai

Credit: Boeing

DUBAI—The Boeing 777X has flown into Dubai World Central to join the static display at the Dubai Airshow, marking the widebody’s air show debut.

The 777-9 flew almost 15-hr. nonstop from Seattle’s Boeing Field, it’s first international flight and longest journey so far as the aircraft continues its test program.

The GE Aviation GE9X-powered 777X has two variants; the -9 has a range of around 7,300 nm while the -8’s range is around 8,700 nm.

Boeing says it has 320 orders and commitments with eight customers. The biggest order is with Dubai-based Emirates, for 115 aircraft. The other two major Gulf carriers, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, have orders for 25 and 60 aircraft respectively. Other major airline customers include ANA (20), British Airways (18), Cathay Pacific (21), Lufthansa (20) and Singapore Airlines (31).

Missing from the customer list so far is a North or South American carrier. American Airlines and United Airlines are 777 operators; Delta Air Lines retired its 18 777s at the end of 2020 as part of a pandemic fleet simplification that focuses on an Airbus A350-900 long-haul fleet.

Boeing says first delivery of the777X is expected in late 2023. The program has experienced multiple delays, first related to development and schedule adjustments because of the 737 MAX recertification, and then because of the pandemic. Some industry observers believe further delays to 2024 or even 2025 may be possible.

With international traffic recovering significantly more slowly than domestic markets because of pandemic-related government travel restrictions, some customers may be comfortable with delivery delays. But Tim Clark, Emirates’ president, has publicly criticized Boeing for a lack of information on the delivery date and aircraft performance. He has warned that the aircraft must perform to 100% of contractual terms.

Karen Walker

Karen Walker is Air Transport World Editor-in-Chief and Aviation Week Network Group Air Transport Editor-in-Chief. She joined ATW in 2011 and oversees the editorial content and direction of ATW, Routes and Aviation Week Group air transport content.