Boeing has confirmed the delay to the 777X program. While the first delivery was scheduled for summer 2020, the aircraft is still to take its first flight. As a result, it now won’t be delivered until early 2021.
It’s not been the best year for Boeing in terms of news stories. The American aerospace manufacturer has been dealing with the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX for the past six months. However, the Boeing 777X has also been problematic for the company. Boeing intended to debut the aircraft at the Paris Air Show earlier this year. However, exactly four months after the close of the show, the aircraft is still yet to experience the blue skies.
Why is the Boeing 777X delayed?
The Boeing 777X program is currently delayed as the manufacturer has been unable to keep to its anticipated test schedule for the aircraft. The aircraft’s manufacturer had expected the aircraft’s first flight to take place in the first half of 2019.
However, due to issues with the General Electric engines (GE9X) due to power the aircraft, the aircraft has been unable to take to the skies. In July we reported that the first flight had been delayed until 2020 as a result. The issue with the GE9X had forced Boeing to return the engines to General Electric. However, earlier today Simple Flying reported that Boeing had received a “Flight Compliant Engine”.
Lufthansa is currently set to be the launch customer for the Boeing 777X aircraft. Despite concern about a delay to the 777X project, Lufthansa in June told Simple Flying “At the moment we are not aware of the postponement of the delivery schedule of the 777x, but as a large airline we can of course react flexibly to such situations.”
However, it seems as though the German flag carrier will now have to wait longer to receive its first aircraft which are already under construction. The 777X is set to have Lufthansa’s brand new business class offering, while no first Class will be present on the aircraft.
Earlier this month the CEO of Emirates, Tim Clark, told how he was not expecting to receive any deliveries of the Boeing 777X in 2020. It appears as though his suspicions were true as the aircraft’s manufacturer officially announced a delivery delay today.
In Boeing’s Q3 results, the American aerospace company said:
“The 777X program is progressing through pre-flight testing and remains on track for first flight in early 2020. The company is now targeting early 2021 for first delivery of the 777X.”
Simple Flying extended an invitation to comment to representatives of Lufthansa and Boeing and is currently awaiting a response regarding this story.
What do you make of the delay to the Boeing 777X program? Did you expect it, or is it still a surprise? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!