According to sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity to Reuters, Chicago-based aircraft giant Boeing has been forced to push back the development timeline of its eagerly awaited but delay-plagued 777X aircraft again.
The 777X, also known as the 777-9, is the next-generation replacement for Boeing’s wildly successful 777 widebody long-haul airplane. For both passengers and airlines, the plane promises improved fuel economy, lower operational costs, a greater range, and other advantages.
Boeing has received roughly 400 orders for the plane, with 156 set to be delivered to Emirates in the Persian Gulf and 74 to Qatar Airways.
Lufthansa, British Airways, and Singapore Airlines are among the launch customers whose fleet plans have been disrupted.
The plane has been in development since 2013, and Boeing had anticipated beginning delivering planes to airlines as early as 2020.
That timeline has been pushed back multiple times, and the first 777X planes may not be ready for delivery until 2025 at the earliest.
Emirates’ president Sir Tim Clark has told various media outlets that he doesn’t anticipate seeing the 777X ready for delivery until late 2024 at the earliest.
The airline veteran said he planned to have a “grown-up conversation” with Boeing executives at the Dubai Air Show last year where the 777X was put on display.
A high-profile incident in which an airplane door blew off during a Federal Aviation Administration-supervised intense pressurization test in 2019 included a high-profile incident in which an aircraft door blew off.
Following the 737MAX scandal, the FAA increased its scrutiny on Boeing, further delaying the development and certification of the 777X.
Boeing had intended to get the 777X certified by 2023, but the FAA recently informed the company that this timeframe was no longer valid.
The FAA has placed a stop on 787 Dreamliners as it examines manufacturing flaws, putting airlines under even more strain.
Airlines have been warned to expect 787 Dreamliner deliveries to resume in the second half of 2022.