Boeing 777X launch pushed back to 2022

A worldwide drop in demand for air travel will see now Boeing's new flagship make its debut in 2022.

By David Flynn, July 30 2020
Boeing 777X launch pushed back to 2022

Boeing's already-delayed 777X will add another year to its rollout timetable, with the launch of the next-generation jetliner set to be pushed back in light of Covid-19's dramatic impact on aviation and travel demand.

The aerospace manufacturer overnight confirmed that it now expects the first delivery of the Boeing 777X series – a 777-9 bound for launch customer Emirates – to take place in 2022, a year later than previously planned.

Also in line for the 777-9 are Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, British Airways and ANA.

However, with a recovery to pre-pandemic levels now not expected until 2024, airlines are racing to conserve cash and capital expenditure, which includes downsizing their fleets and scaling back on upgrade and expansion plans made during better times.

This includes standing down and in many cases retiring their largest jets, such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747, in favour of mode mid-sized aircraft like the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Combining the best attributes of the familiar and long-running Boeing 777-200 and -300 family with the high-tech advantages of the 787 Dreamliner's clean-sheet design, the big twin-engine 777X has also proven too big for airlines to fill in the immediate wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lufthansa's unique Boeing 777-9 business class layout puts an emphasis on privacy and personal space.
Lufthansa's unique Boeing 777-9 business class layout puts an emphasis on privacy and personal space.

Boeing plans to offer the 777X in two models: the mainstream 777-9 would be the debutante, with the longer-range 777-8 to follow.

Emirates recently observed that it doesn't expect to receive any planes before 2022, while several other Boeing 777X customers – among them Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways – have also sought to press the pause button on new aircraft deliveries.

The Boeing 777-9 was also to serve as the launch platform for a new wave of business class seats and first class suites from Emirates, Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways.

Read more: Here's what five top airlines are planning for the Boeing 777X


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


03 May 2013

Total posts 667

They boast the plane can carry as many as a 747 yet on the other hand smaller planes and point to point is the way to go?

I doubt this plane will ever prove as successful as the A350. Airbus have it all over Boeing when it comes to passenger experience and with the A350 they also have the economics. I just cant see Boeing outdoing Airbus here which is disappointing considering this plane is targeted for long and ultra long haul. If it cant replicate the superior cabin atmospherics and noise it's a fail from the start. In terms of space it's width will always mean it will be a cramped tin can just like its predecessors. The only alternative is to configure it in a less dense capacity but risk the economics not paying off. As Mr Magoo used to say...."Oh Boeing, you've done it again!"

Dragonair - The Marco Polo Club

10 May 2015

Total posts 12

While I agree with what you are saying I doubt the typical passenger would be able to differentiate which flights are operated by newer/more passenger friendly aircraft anyway.

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 338

If it's Boeing I'm not goeing!!!!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Mar 2014

Total posts 23

Boeing needs to change its strategy. Thanks to COVID the 777X is the new A380 - too big and the wrong economics for the short to medium future (it's a sad reality of the times). At best it will be a niche aircraft. I don't understand why more energy hasn't been thrown into the 737Max replacement that will allow a direct competitor to the A321LR & XLR.

Boeing needs a clean sheet design 737 replacement. Just take a look over 4,000 single aisle orders vs 309 777X orders (of which 200 are UAE airlines) Super risky strategy given long haul hub model vs point to point on a smaller aircraft.

Surely there are people at Boeing who can see the pivot? If demand is the driver, Boeing might press pause on 777X - let's see...

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

21 Jan 2016

Total posts 196

The B787 and A350 is the future for short to ultra long haul flights. These aircraft have clean sheet designs, are versatile for direct non-stop 'point to point and/or 'spoke & hub' operations.

Boeing needs to address the issue of the B737 replacement to cater for the 100 to 250seat markets. At present, Airbus has the product range from the A220 to the A321XLR for this market and are newer aircraft designs compared to the rehashed B737 design.

Whilst there is a small market for the B777-9, the orders will be small compared to the B787 and A350 which are cheaper to purchase and have establish operational histories. The B777-8 most likely remain on the drawing board.


02 May 2016

Total posts 62

I don't disagree with any of the comments above, it's still too early to tell what the “post Covid” travel experience will be but one could also argue that if far greater point to point travel becomes the norm, and more people opt for space over cramped economy seating, the 777X could find itself in a nice place of being able to offer the best mix of scale across 4 classes of service, particularly in the Premium Economy space yet still deliver long haul point to point options. In any case there always will be more 787 and 350's flying anyway, but 777X just could yet find a sweet spot, which may have been against it pre Covid. Agree completely they need a clean sheet design to replace 737

15 Aug 2018

Total posts 27

Don't forget cargo. The 777 is way superior to the A350 as a cargo carrier. Higher cargo volume payload and broader centre of gravity range. That's one reason why airlines with large cargo businesses have ordered it. The 777 cargo capacity is so large that many airlines are flying them around at the moment with cargo holds only in use - no passengers. They wouldn't be doing it if they were losing money.


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1426

Ted Qantas is flying its A333s around as cargo only planes as well.


03 May 2013

Total posts 667

Cargo is all the 777 should ever been designed and used for. It's the most horrid of all long haul aircraft to fly in as a passenger.

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