Today, Boeing has confirmed that it won’t be delivering its first 777-9 aircraft until late 2023. The first delivery was initially planned to have taken place last year. However, the program has faced multiple delays along the way.
The first deliveries of the Boeing 777X had been planned to take place in 2020, although this didn’t happen. Last year Boeing confirmed that the aircraft wouldn’t be delivered until 2022. However, the program has now slipped again until late 2023. Recently Emirates’ President Tim Clark mentioned that his first 777X delivery could slip to 2024.
Certification requirements delaying delivery
Boeing is now expecting to deliver its first 777X aircraft in late 2023. Given how far out this is, the American manufacturer isn’t specifying a more detailed time frame than this. Boeing pointed to several factors that led to its decision to delay the project.
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Firstly, Boeing cited “an updated assessment of certification requirements based on ongoing communication with civil aviation authorities” as a reason for the delay. However, they also mentioned, “an updated assessment of market demand based on continued dialogue with customers, resulting adjustments to production rates and the program accounting quantity.”
Finally, Boeing also mentioned “increased change incorporation costs, and associated customer and supply chain impacts.”
How will this impact customers
The delay will clearly impact customers who are expecting the aircraft. However, it could actually be a blessing in disguise for many, given the current circumstances. As Boeing mentioned, “discussions with its customers with respect to aircraft delivery timing” had impacted its timeline. Its major customers are likely to be onboard with the delay.
German flag carrier Lufthansa had been due to take the first of the 777-9 aircraft. Lufthansa has frequently revealed that it will need to make significant fleet adjustments to deal with the current crisis’s fallout. This has seen the airline sending many long-haul aircraft to long-term storage. Some of these may never return. As the airline isn’t using the aircraft it already has, it has no immediate need for new long-haul aircraft. Simple Flying has contacted Lufthansa for comment.
Emirates was also due to be one of the first airlines to take delivery of the 777X. It had previously told how it expected its first aircraft in 2023 or even 2024, suggesting that they were in on Boeing’s discussions.
British Airways was expected to take its first 777X in 2022. The delay will mean that British Airways won’t get its aircraft as planned, and maybe not until 2024. However, when contacted by Simple Flying, an IAG spokesperson declined to comment on the delay.
What do you make of the delay to the 777X program? When will the first 777X be delivered? Let us know what you think and why in the comments.