Wow: Boeing 777X Deliveries Delayed Until Late 2023

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Ugh! I guess this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but Boeing has just revealed that the first 777X delivery has now been pushed back to late 2023. We’ve now seen the timeline pushed back from 2020, to 2021, to 2022, to late 2023.

What is the Boeing 777X?

For those of you not familiar, the Boeing 777X is Boeing’s newest version of the 777. It will come in two variants — the 777-8 and 777-9 — and the planes are both longer range and larger than existing 777s (and larger than 787s, which are also popular).

With there clearly not being a market anymore for planes like the A380 and 747-8 (even pre-pandemic), this will likely be the biggest new aircraft we see manufactured in the next decade.

Boeing 777-9

The Boeing 777X has already been delayed

Entry into service for the Boeing 777X has already been delayed significantly. First the plane was delayed due to production issues, and then the plane was delayed due to the pandemic.

For context, the Boeing 777X was supposed to complete its first test flight in mid-2019, but that ended up being pushed back to early 2020. This delay was due to issues with the GE9X General Electric engines on the plane. These are the largest engines ever on a commercial plane, though they were having durability problems, causing a delay in certification.

That wasn’t the only issue, though — during the 777X certification process, a door also blew off during a stress test.

Then in July 2020 it was announced that deliveries of the Boeing 777X would be delayed until 2022. It seemed like this wasn’t due to any issues with the aircraft, but rather due to renegotiations with airline customers, given the state of the industry.

Rendering of Lufthansa Boeing 777-9

Boeing pushes back 777X deliveries to late 2023

It has now been revealed that Boeing 777X deliveries will only start in late 2023 at the earliest. Boeing claims that the updated schedule is due to the following factors:

  • An updated assessment of global certification requirements
  • Boeing’s latest assessment of COVID-19 impacts on market demand
  • Discussions with customers with respect to aircraft delivery timing

Boeing says it remains confident in the 777X. Ultimately this update doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Emirates recently revealed that it would delay 777X deliveries until 2023.

Emirates is the largest customer for the aircraft, so this raised the question of whether 777X deliveries would be delayed altogether, or if just Emirates managed to renegotiate its contract.

Rendering of Emirates Boeing 777-9

Why the 777X delay matters for passengers

Understandably airlines have more important priorities than passenger experience right now, though I still feel like it’s necessary to mention one of the often overlooked implications of a further Boeing 777X delay.

Many airlines were going to use the 777X as their new flagship aircraft, and were going to introduce all new cabins on these planes. For example:

Lufthansa’s new business class, debuting on the 777-9

Bottom line

Boeing doesn’t expect to deliver its first 777X until late 2023 at the earliest. Boeing realizes that ramping up production of this plane during the current pandemic may be a futile effort. This follows several airlines having renegotiated delivery schedules.

This is a pretty significant delay. With the previously delayed timeline, deliveries were supposed to start at some point in 2022, while now deliveries will start in 2023 at the earliest, potentially representing a delay of nearly two years.

Hopefully the new timeline reflects when passenger demand will actually recover, so that airlines are once again in a position to take delivery of new planes.

Are you surprised to see Boeing push back 777X deliveries to late 2023?

Comments
  1. Could it be that the customers a bit shy jumping on a “newly redesigned” Boeing airplane?
    “An updated assessment of global certification requirements”…

  2. Does 777x have mcas? It seems all Boeing does these days is lengthen existing frame types and put bigger engines instead of heading to the drawing board and create new types. Not responsible

  3. @Abey Boeing explicitly said that the 777x has no MCAS, which is different than being silent about MCAS like they did with the MAX. And besides, your point about revamping existing frame types is very biased. The 787 is an all new type as much as t1he A350 is and the A320NEO and A330NEO are rehashes of existing families as much as the 777x.

  4. Boeing did way more than “lengthen existing frame types and put bigger engines” and called it good with 777x. A brand new wing made out of composite, it’s longer and even folds, first time in commercial jet liner. Some call it a revolutionary design. It achieves great fuel saving while allowing the plains to fit in exiting airport structure… some A380 didn’t to do. Even on the fuselage, Boeing managed to resize and relocate windows for passenger comfort and made the wall thinner. What Boeing learned from the massive cost over runs and delays getting all new 787 delivered is that instead of developing all new plane, similar fuel savings can be achieved by new wings and engines more cost effectively with less risk. Having said that, Boeing was also developing all new 757-767 replacement, a revolution scratch design before the max crashes caused refocus on engineering effort and then the pandemic hit caused the plan to be shelved. So calling them irresponsible is ignoring all that facts and their effort.

  5. Do those 777X engines need to moved forward and up? How do those engines affect aircraft handling? What other software changes in the 777X? What else is Boeing hiding?

    Boeing’s last two airplanes, 787 and 737MAX, faced fleetwide groundings. Boeing needs to use the next few years to get the 777X right – they cannot afford for the 777X to become the 777MAX.

  6. This has nothing to do with the plane itself. Customers are waiting things out and not taking delivery of their orders until long-distance air travel returns to pre-Covid levels. No rush to build them just to have them sit.

    Not much of a real story here. Seems more like an attempt to for clicks by piling on other recent, yet unrelated, bad pr.

  7. These planes are beautiful. I’m at Boeing Field often and see them there. The shape of the fuselage and wings is graceful and elegant. And the folding wingtips are very cool. I can’t wait to ride in one.

  8. @Yolo The A320 was released in 1988, the A330 was released in 1993, and the 777 was released in 1995. The 777 is a newer platform than the A320 amd A330 platforms. If you’re saying that the 777 is older than the two because it has the same nose as the 767 or something like that, the A330 also shares the same fuswlage as the A300, which is older than the 767.

  9. MAX will recover first with ~3k on order. Then the 777x. This is a long term stock that will rise over time. Air travel will pop starting this summer and regain significant strength over 14-16 months thereafter. Full pre-pandemic levels by end 22 and into 23.

    Boeing has now had a chance to re-tool and study it’s practices. They will be applying what they learned.

    Would like to see a 797 as an eventual replacement for the max. With the engine clearance of the 757 and the capability to flex between 200-275 passenger in 2 classes. Would be great if they could achieve near mach performance while reducing carbon print.

  10. Nah. No one wants the 777X anymore. There is no future for wide bodies in commercial aviation after 787 and a350 .

    The future is the a321xlr. Boeing needs to come up with a Boeing 7007 single aisle jet . 7thousand7 ,7G7 ,7K7, or 7double07 ? 7117 ? 7eleven7 ?

  11. I’m afraid there are some real causes for concern, what has lead to Boeing booking a 6.5 billion $ loss on the programme in the 4th quarter 2020.

    President and CEO Calhoun had, at the time, – besides the one-size-fits-all Covid 19 – blamed “various design changes sparked by feedback from global regulators and lessons learned from the plane maker’s protracted recertification of the 737 MAX”

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