Emirates Might Not Take Its First Boeing 777X Until 2024

Emirates’ President Sir Tim Clark has suggested that his airline may not take its first Boeing 777X aircraft until 2024. Clark made the comments in an interview with Reuters. The Boeing 777X was initially supposed to enter service last year.

Emirates, Boeing 777X, 2024
Emirates President today suggested that its first 777X delivery could slip as far as 2024. Photo: Boeing

The Boeing 777X is set to become Boeing’s next major product as the existing 777 models begin to wane in popularity. Indeed, only 17 of the current 777 passenger variants are still to be delivered. The first 777Xs were due to be delivered last year. However, their entry to service has been pushed back to a delay with the aircraft’s first flight. This was caused by issues with the aircraft’s enormous GE9X engines.

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Delivery in 2024?

According to Boeing’s most recent update, it is expecting to start shipping the 777X to customers in 2022 as things stand. The first is due to go to Lufthansa, closely followed by the second to Emirates. However, in an interview with Reuters today, Tim Clark suggested that the type’s delivery could be later than planned.

Clark told Reuters,

“It is a question of when that aircraft is going to be completed and certified and offered for entry of service. That could be ‘22, could be ‘23, it could be even longer.”

Emirates, Boeing 777X, 2024
The fuselage of Emirates’ first Boeing 777X (not pictured) has already been built. Photo: Boeing

How the 777X will fit into the Emirates fleet

The Boeing 777 is a significant Emirates component, making up over half of its fleet alongside the Airbus A380. While its youngest current 777 is just 2.2 years old, its oldest is 15.1 years old. Emirates first signed a firm order for the Boeing 777X at the 2013 Dubai Airshow. At the time, the airline signed for 115 777-9s, alongside 35 777-8s. This was accompanied by purchase rights for 50 additional aircraft, bringing the potential total to 200. At the time of the original order, Tim Clark commented,

“We look forward to inducting them into our fleet from 2020.”

Today, the order book looks slightly different. According to data from Boeing, as of December 31st, Emirates currently has 145 aircraft on order from Boeing. 115 777Xs, and 30 787-9s. The most recent 787-9 order was completed at the 2019 Dubai Airshow. At the time, Emirates still had 126 777Xs on order, according to Boeing.

Emirates, Boeing 777X, 2024
The 777X eventually took its first flight just under a year ago. Photo: Boeing

Emirates currently operates just two aircraft types. The Airbus A380 is unlikely to leave the fleet any time soon, meaning that the delivery of the 787 would increase the number of types in the fleet. However, the airline has even more outstanding orders. Firstly, it is awaiting the last outstanding Airbus A380 orders. Yet, it also has an order for 50 of the Airbus A350-900. This means that the Emirates fleet could be twice as varied as it is today in the future.

When do you think that Emirates will finally take delivery of its first Boeing 777X? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!