Deferring deliveries, canceling orders and retiring large aircraft seems to indicate that the Boeing 777X is ill-timed for launch. However, we would argue that the time has never been better for Boeing to launch a new state of the art aircraft. With retiring A380s, 747s and a chance to modernize fleets, airlines will be ready for the flagship type when it arrives next year.
What are the details?
The Boeing 777X is currently under development by Boeing and should be delivered to airlines sometime in the early months of 2021. Whilst production of the model and testing of the prototypes has delayed thanks to the coronavirus, Boeing is still confident that it will be ready in 2021 for airlines that have ordered the type.
Speaking of which, these are the airlines that currently have the 777X on order:
|All Nippon Airways||20|
If you have not been following the 777X development and don’t know why it is such a fantastic plane, then we suggest you read this article here.
Arguments for why the Boeing 777X is not needed
Critics have pointed out that airline industry seems to be moving in the opposite direction from Boeing’s 777X world.
Airlines have been grounding and retiring large aircraft like the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 747, conveniently using this crisis as an excuse to move these large money pits off their books. Why would they be interested in taking on board any new aircraft, especially one as large and expensive as the Boeing 777X?
Additionally, airlines don’t have any money to accept new aircraft. Some flag carriers are barely hanging on and it would be foolish to assume they can pick up a few billion dollars in new aircraft during this crisis, or even in the next few years as they recover.
Whilst both of these are solid arguments, there are two counterpoints
The Boeing 777X is needed for routes
An interesting point is that if these airlines get rid of the A380 and 747, there is now a missing aircraft in their fleet. Airlines will not have an aircraft that can perform profitable long-distance high-capacity routes that favor the A380 and 747.
This might include routes like Los Angeles to Dubai, New York to Singapore and Mexico City to Madrid, currently performed by these aircraft and perfect for the 777X.
Airlines will use the Boeing 777X to modernize
Moving onto the second point about airlines not being enthusiastic about spending money on new aircraft, there is a strong counter to that.
Looking at the bigger picture, it is not just large aircraft that airlines are retiring. For example, American Airlines has brought forward the retirement of its Boeing 757 and 767 types among others.
With the ‘weaker’ aircraft from the fleet cut and improved operating margins, airlines will be more profitable and ready to take onboard new advanced airframes like the Boeing 777X.
They might not be ready to pay for them just yet, but it would be too expensive for them to ignore the opportunity the aircraft brings. Especially if they no longer have the 747 or A380.
It is for these two reasons that we can suggest that the Boeing 777X will replace the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747 well within the next five years. Its design, modern engines and, cost effeciency place it in the perfect position to take over the mantle from the twin giants of our skies.
What do you think? Is the Boeing 777X poised to take over from the A380 and 747? Let us know in the comments!