Boeing Delays 777X Deliveries Until 2021

Filed Under: Misc.

Boeing situation just seems to keep getting worse, and that goes beyond the 737 MAX. It has now been announced that Boeing doesn’t expect the first 777X delivery to happen until 2021.

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.

With there clearly not being a market anymore for planes like the A380 and 747-8, this seems to be about the biggest we should expect from aircraft manufacturers in the coming years.

Boeing’s 787 is also popular, though this is a larger version.

What Airlines Have Ordered The 777X?

As of now there are about 325 777Xs on order. Currently the orders for these planes include the following:

  • Emirates Airline ordered 35 777-8s and 115 777-9s
  • Qatar Airways ordered 10 777-8s and 50 777-9s
  • Cathay Pacific Airways ordered 21 777-9s
  • All Nippon Airways ordered 20 777-9s
  • Lufthansa ordered 20 777-9s
  • Singapore Airlines ordered 20 777-9s
  • British Airways ordered 18 777-9s
  • Etihad Airways ordered six 777-9s

Initially Lufthansa was supposed to be the launch customer, but then Emirates became the launch customer. There are rumors of some airlines possibly canceling 777X orders. For example, Emirates has openly talked about how they’re considering canceling some of them.

Boeing 777X Delays Continue

The Boeing 777X was supposed to have its first test flight this past summer, though that ended up being pushed into 2020. This was due to ongoing engine issues with the plane, and then there was a further issue during one of the last certification tests before the first flight, where a door blew off during a stress test.

Up until now the plan was for the 777X to still have its first flight in early 2020, and for the first plane to be delivered in mid-2020.

The latest development, noted during Boeing’s third quarter earnings, is that the first 777X delivery now isn’t expected until 2021. While the first test flight is still expected for early 2020, it looks like it will be at least a year or so until the first plane is delivered.

That’s bad news for Boeing and airlines, and it seems like the timeline might have the potential to slip even further. I sure wonder what impact this might have on existing orders for the plane.

Bottom Line

The 777X now won’t enter commercial service until 2021, which is a bummer for airlines like Emirates and Lufthansa, which were looking forward to having the plane join their fleet in 2020.

The 777X will also be the plane on which Lufthansa debuts their new business class, so it looks like that’s now pushed back to 2021.

Since Lufthansa got their Skytrax five star rating thanks to their new business class product many years in advance, does that mean they get their five star rating suspended for a year? 😉

  1. Airlines are very mad about this.
    Two years ago nobody would think putting a new engine and a new wing would be a problem. It’s quick to market, cost effective, and historical performance track record. What could go wrong.

    737MAX just proved it wrong and wreck havoc. Take a guess how the public will compare 737MAX to 777X.
    Maybe time for manufacturers to start pumping something new and stop with the X and neo stuff.

  2. A350 orders are about to explode. Especially with the extended range or lift coming.

    Boeing has the 787 and thats it! Perhaps a 747-8i NEO? …lol. Lipstick on the 767-400?

    The 737 Max will NEVER fly again, and Airbus has taken away the 757 market with the A321’s

    Perhaps, just perhaps the A380 is not done juuuuust yet! 😉

    Boeing is dragging down the US economy (official)…and when the announcement of the 737 MAX being cancelled comes (massive is not even the word) instant recession. The up and down chain for Boeing ripples across the US and the world. They are running scenarios now for how it will play out, not for how to absorb it.

  3. Even with the new Business Class, if LH stays 5 Star skytrax than BA has to be at least 8 star Skytrax 😉 with new Club Suite and they have at least some planes already in service. And in Club Suite all seats are equal. No need to pay a fortune for good seats.

  4. As I said before, once the Boeing-Embraer deal is finalized at the end of the year, expect Boeing to announce a E270/275/290/295 in the size of the 737-7/737-8 shortly afterwards.
    The 737-9/737-10/757/767 replacement NMA will then follow later.

  5. I wonder how airbus is managing with the A330Neo planes then? Or the A320 NEO? Because those planes too seem like as if the regular plane was taken and had new wings and engines added to it.

  6. Seems Boeing should just quit making commercial planes. Getting worse and worse. 737 grounded till who knows when and even when back in service people will be sceptical. Now 777 delayed so much. Looks like they lost focus. I am aware that many jobs are at stake but Boeing is really underperforming. I know Airbus had their share of delays but last year for Boeing are really going in wrong direction

  7. @Jordan, The 737-MAX will return eventually. The 777X will fly eventually. The A380 is DEAD, it is too big and inefficient. There is no talk of another 747 version. The 767-400er is a capable plane, with longer landing gear and more up-to-date avionics, and Boeing may re-engine it, but primarily for freight ops. Boeing is To Big To Fail. The government will probably bail it out when the recession comes, just like GM.

  8. More airlines should order the 747-8. It is not only more comfortable but also extremely reliable, safe and will make a great cargo plane eventually.

  9. @Jordan — “The 737 Max will NEVER fly again … announcement of the 737 MAX being cancelled comes …” —

    ROFLMAO! Really? You’re STILL conflating a BAD IMPLEMENTATION in the original MCAS vs. a totally VALID CONCEPT that has been historically used in different ways across different platforms with PROVEN safety and reliability! Since fixing MCAS is primarily a SOFTWARE activity, the MAX absolutely WILL fly again SAFELY and RELIABLY! That’s the technical perspective — Boeing now has its work cut out to independently address its Public Trust perspective!

    Also … about your conjecture — what will all of the outstanding MAX orders still on the books, as well as all of those MAX aircraft already in revenue service, going to do? What will those airlines that ordered the MAX do next, since the factories at Airbus will be out of capacity in no time should such an MORONIC idea happen? The airlines have NO ALTERNATIVES and will NOT have any alternatives for the next 6+ years, if the MAX were to get ditched in favor of starting over! Yes! It takes THAT LONG to get a new design from development, through testing and certifications, and into production!

    So Boeing will NOT willy nilly cancel the MAX, no matter how much some in the public love to fantasize about that!

  10. @Eskimo – the “neo” is just fine, haven’t heard of any problems with the A320neo family.

    The A320 sits higher than the 737 so the changes needed to mount new engines weren’t as radical as those the 737MAX required.

  11. @Tom — “Seems Boeing should just quit making commercial planes.” —

    Wait … so *whom* do you suggest to take up the slack after Boeing does what you suggest? Or should USA must get out of the business of making airliners altogether? Are Boeing and USA such easy *quitters*?

    Airbus also has its hidden gremlins with their A320s and A350s, but most of the media is just *intentionally ignoring* those in order to protect Airbus! I bet you did *not* know that their newest A350 has a *critical outstanding issue* that can potentially cause it to, God forbid, *explode* mid-flight at 38,000-feet! Where’s the outrage over *that design flaw* and is anyone calling for the A350 to get *grounded* yet? Why *not*? Oh … no one has died (as yet) from *that design flaw*! But if anyone, God forbid, should die, one day, then should Airbus *also quit* making airliners?

    Both Boeing and Airbus have, unfortunately, suffered fatalities with their airliners in the past, and *neither* has quit the market before!

  12. BillC

    Please detail more or we can safely call Complete Bullsh*t on your safety claims regarding the A350 having a design flaw leading to possibly having a catosrophic mid air explosion?

    That sounds like a TWA style conspiracy theory.

  13. @BillC

    I’ve *googled* the *exploding* A350 *and*, it *seems* there’s *quite* a *lot* of *articles* about *the* software *fix* they *made* to *stop* fuel *tanks* exploding.

  14. @Frederik — “Please detail more or we can safely call Complete Bullsh*t on your safety claims regarding the A350 having a design flaw leading to possibly having a catosrophic mid air explosion?” —

    Just Google this and read all about it, as @Greg has done!
    @Greg — Excellent! I had actually already given a representative link to one of the web articles talking about this issue, on another OMAAT subject thread, but glad to see that this *Finally* got some readers to actually look into it (sorry if I goaded you into doing so) and read exactly *How* Airbus has decided to “Fix” that issue — through *Software*!

    Now … my point is that there’s way too much *Hypocrisy* about the idea of using *Software* to fix aircraft flight performance/safety issues! If Airbus can resort to using *Software* to fix their potential A350 crisis, then *Why* can Boeing *Not* do the same with MCAS? After all, this *Concept* of using software directly within the flight control loop is *Not* anything new at all!

    Hopefully everyone can become *Less* emotional in “gut responses” to the MAX issues and use more *Intellect* to rationally analyze them!

  15. Max will fly but may be mid next year.
    I’m pretty sure it will be a good plane coz 787 is so good I’m addicted to it. Flying long haul on 787 and 350 in cattle is not a unpleasant exp for me whereas 767 makes me sick every time. Kudos Humidity control and better air circulation.
    I blame FAA for this. Someone needs to go in jail coz we pay for the agent to oversee our lives and it failed like everything that gov did

  16. In all honesty. I love both Boeing AND Airbus and the fact that people think Boeing is “finished” is funny to me.

    The 737Max WILL fly again and though its obviously HAD unbelievable faults it IS a fantastic aircraft (given the issues have been addressed). The software fix has been submitted and Boeing is now waiting for FAA to conduct their own tests and subsequently a certification flight. Boeing will be fine and they’ve learnt from this. Their aircrafts will be safer and quality even better than ever before. They have suffered from it but the truth is it only gets better for them from here. The FAA will approve the fix, Boeing won’t submit it if they weren’t somewhat sure that they would. The 737MAX will continue to fly millions of passengers a year, it will have its 2 – 3 years of blacklisting and once people see its reliability and it’s safety they will get back on it. Think about it. Some airlines have over 100 of these jets on order at some point in the near future for some major airlines it’s literally either you’re on a MAX or you’re not flying. Look at Southwest with over 200 orders or IAG with an LOI of 200 which they’re 100% committed to firming. So that’s the reality to be very honest.

    As for the 777X it WILL take to the skies shortly, and it will deliver and become a fantastic aircraft. Boeing has faced big BLOWS this year that will see them completely turn their company around. They will grow even bigger and better from this. So really 2019 hasn’t been their year at all but 2020 I think will be their year Because I predict that truly the 737Max will get the green light in December and then deliveries will continue restoring cash flow AND the 777x will get it’s certification, behind all this “bad” news the first engine has been delivered back to Boeing, the second to be delivered in the coming days, sources say first flight will still be January 2020 but at least its better for Boeing to take their time and get it right than have another 787 engine issue or worse a MAX part 2.

    Boeing is now going the EXTRA EXTRA mile not to mess up and that’s the ethic that will get them back to where they need to be and beyond. One would argue it’s the ethic they should’ve had from the beginning but hey.

  17. Head of commercial aircraft at Boeing is just a sacrificial lamb on altar of greed irresponsibility and plain criminal intent of financial so called ” managers members of the failed board”

  18. BillC chiming in with the usual bizarrely punctuated ranting. Why do so many of his ilk sound like Pizzagate “just asking questions” conspiracy theorist nuts?

  19. @EBWaa — “BillC chiming in with the usual bizarrely punctuated ranting. Why do so many of his ilk sound like Pizzagate “just asking questions” conspiracy theorist nuts?”

    Can you be more specific about your complaints? What do you mean by “bizarrely punctuated ranting”? And what portion of my posts amount to “conspiracy theories”?

  20. @BillC, please try to write *one* *comment* WITHOUT using CAPITAL LETTERS, overused *quotation marks* or *unnecessary* asterisks….

    Writing in the manner you do only makes you come across as a crazed nutter, who’s jumping off the ceiling and outraged by everything. Similar to what we see from the extreme right and extreme left in American political media.

  21. @A — “… please try to write *one* *comment* WITHOUT using CAPITAL LETTERS, overused *quotation marks* or *unnecessary* asterisks…. ” —

    Oh … I see! This has always been a conundrum for me — some people told me that they prefer *…* and others tell me that they prefer CAPS, instead! I guess I’m just trying to emphasize some words/phrases, but I can see how over-use of those highlighting methods can be distracting! I’d prefer to use bold fonts and italics whenever possible, but I’m not sure this blog system allows HTML constructs? Let me just try something here, to see if that works —


    Thanks for clarifying this annoyance for me! Sorry to everyone about over-doing this practice!

  22. @ Opuada
    “ One would argue it’s the ethic [Boeing] should’ve had from the beginning but hey.“

    So you’re dismissing 300+ deaths as a good learning experience for Boeing and with a jolly “but hey”?!

    @ Daikon
    “ I blame FAA for this.”

    The lengths some people will go to to excuse Boeing…

    For decades the dominant political narrative in the US has been that “government=an unnecessary interference in the smooth running of dynamic entrepreneurial companies”, that taxation and regulation are both “burdens” and, therefore, intrinsically evil. The budgets of regulators have been cut every year; the companies try to poach any talent that emerges in them, buying off the most-skilled staff; regulators are then pressured to let companies “self-certify”, just like Boeing did here. People then die. And all you can do is say it’s the FAA’s fault…?

    So what’s your solution? I guess there are two main philosophical approaches: close FAA and let Boeing decide everything? Or massively increase FAA’s budget, and the salaries of their staff, and forbid any “self-certification”?

    I wonder which approach you’d prefer?

  23. @The nice Paul — “So what’s your solution? I guess there are two main philosophical approaches: close FAA and let Boeing decide everything? Or massively increase FAA’s budget, and the salaries of their staff, and forbid any ‘self-certification’?” —

    This is the conundrum that has arisen with today’s ever-increasing aircraft complexity when certifying commercial aircraft! While it’s true that Boeing must do everything that it can through its own internal QA efforts, it is still useful for an independent outside agency (ie, FAA) to do its own separate audit to try and find any overlooked flaws that escaped Boeing’s own internal QA efforts!

    A large part of the MAX certification failure by the FAA was due to its own lack of adequate technical talents, who could be trained in a timely manner by Boeing, to check out brand new feature additions, such as MCAS; therefore, Boeing was left with the task of “self-certifying” large portions of that new feature addition — a huge mistake between the two parties!

    What I feel might be a pragmatic solution is to have Boeing still be responsible for its own internal QA efforts, but ensure that those are much more robust than currently established! Then the FAA needs to find ways to develop much more comprehensive and “automated” test processes that can exercise the operational behaviors of Boeing’s (or any others’) products solely from the flying pilots’ perspectives and under all conceivable operational aspects (normal, anomalous, crisis, catastrophe, etc). Of course, this presumes that the FAA should already have a cumulative database of all types of flight situations and contingencies (including prior crashes) that could, or have historically already, occurred! This can be analogous to “regression testing” in corporate product QA testing.

    Whether Boeing disclosed the existence of MCAS or not, if the FAA tests were sufficiently comprehensive in operational coverage, then any MCAS flaws should have already manifested during FAA certification testing efforts!

    Therefore, self-certifications by the product developer are always a very bad idea — whether by Boeing, or any others!

  24. @thenicepaul

    Absolutely not and sorry if it comes across as so. I am trying to validate the argument that they should have had that ethic from the beginning and they did not and this is the consequence – lives lost. Did not mean it to come across another way

  25. I’m Afraid Not Emirates Boeing 777x moves delivery dates to 2022 instead of 2021 for Boeing 787 Dreamliner or otherwise there will be a blow to Boeing for the Airbus A350. The Boeing 777x engine issues the high pressure compressor still fixing at GE so Boeing 777x took off in January 2020 Otherwise the Boeing 777x stress test It’s just a test and there’s no time to rebuild it.

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