British Airways has revealed that it will take delivery of its 18 Boeing 777X jets between 2024 and 2027. The airline had been expecting its first delivery in 2022, but Boeing pushed its delivery schedule back in January.
The Boeing 777X is set to be the next new aircraft to hit the US manufacturer’s product catalog. However, its launch has been anything but smooth. Boeing was due to deliver the first aircraft last year, but delays to the program have caused this to slip several times. Now the first delivery is planned for late 2023.
IAG reconfirms Boeing 777X delivery timeline
British Airways had been expecting its first 777X aircraft next year under the original delivery timeline. Despite several delays to the program, the airline refused to comment on any delay in the delivery of its Boeing jets. However, this all changed today.
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Buried deep in a 91 page PDF containing British Airways’ owner’s, IAG, financial results, the group outlined its new 777X delivery timeline. As things stand, British Airways has 18 orders for the larger -9 variant of the aircraft. While not elaborating on how many would be delivered each year, IAG confirmed that BA would take its 18 planes in the four years from and including 2024 to 2027.
While not centering on the Boeing 777-9, IAG did reveal,
“The Group has certain rights to cancel commitments in the event of significant delays to aircraft deliveries caused by the aircraft manufacturers. No such rights had been exercised as at December 31, 2020.”
While British Airways has 18 firm orders for the 777-9, it also has 24 options for the type. This means that if all of the airline’s options are taken up, the airline would have a total of 42 Boeing 777X aircraft.
What’s been the holdup?
So why isn’t British Airways able to take its first 777Xs next year? Put simply, they won’t be ready. The delays started with issues on the test aircraft’s giant GE9X engines. Boeing had hoped to show the 777X off at the 2019 Paris Air Show. However, the aircraft didn’t eventually take its first flight until January 2020.
A month ago, Boeing released its full-year earnings report revealing that the program has been delayed until late 2023. Giving the reasons for the extended delays, Boeing first cited “an updated assessment of certification requirements based on ongoing communication with civil aviation authorities.”
However, it also seems that airlines reassessing their delivery scheduled due to the current situation has played a small part. Boeing said that the delay was also caused by “an updated assessment of market demand based on continued dialogue with customers, resulting adjustments to production rates and the program accounting quantity.”
What do you make of IAG’s revised Boeing 777X delivery timeline? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.