Last month, Sir Tim Clark, the longtime President of Dubai-based airline Emirates told reporters that the carrier was expecting a delay in the first delivery of brand new Boeing 777X aircraft which were originally planned for June 2020 onwards. We now know that Emirates doesn’t expect to start receiving these planes until early 2021 due to mounting delays in the development of the jet.
Boeing has been been facing a number of delays in the 777X programme including problems with the massive new engines that will power the aircraft. Last month, those problems got even worse when Boeing was forced to completely suspend so-called ‘load testing’ as an extreme pressurisation test ended in disaster after a door blew off the plane.
The Seattle-based aircraft manufacturer has delayed the jet’s initial test flight until early next year but still expects to have the plane for delivery at some point in 2020.
“… By the end of next year, we were to have eight of them. Now it doesn’t look like we will have any,” Sir Tim was quoted by Reuters as saying at an aviation conference in Dubai on Monday.
Emirates is set to be one of the launch customers of Boeing’s new 777X aircraft – the largest twin-engine commercial jet in the world which has been developed with folding wingtips so that it can use the same airport’s as traditional and smaller 777 models.
Boeing won an order for 150 of the aircraft from Emirates at the 2013 Dubai Air Show. The order is worth $56 billion at list value and is made up of 35 smaller 777-8Xs and 115 of the larger 777-9X. Emirates has the option to increase the order by 50 more planes.
Emirates had wanted to launch its brand new Premium Economy product on the 777X (the first forway into the segment by any Middle East airline) but has already announced plans to delay its introduction by around six months. The airline expects to debt the product on its flagship Airbus A380 around December 2020.