According to Emirates’ president, Tim Clark, the UAE carrier has no visibility on its Boeing 777X delivery timeline. Clark recently told Simple Flying that his first aircraft of the type might not arrive until as late as 2025. Previously, the carrier was expected to be the type’s launch customer.
The Boeing 777X program has faced a series of delays over the last couple of years. The jet was meant to already be flying passengers, with Emirates and Lufthansa expecting their first aircraft last year. However, several delays have snowballed, meaning that the first delivery won’t take place before 2023 at the earliest.
No visibility regarding the first delivery
Tim Clark, President of Emirates, revealed that the carrier currently has no visibility of when Boeing will deliver the carrier’s first 777X. At a recent webinar held by Simple Flying, Clark told,
“We should have had the first one in June of last year. And so far, we don’t have any visibility as to when the first one will arrive. It’s either the back end of 2023, 2024 or possibly even 2025.”
This has presented a unique challenge for the Emirati carrier. The airline had been planning to use its 777X aircraft to relieve its oldest Airbus A380s. However, without the aircraft, it is unable to substitute them into its network.
Given the industry’s current state, it wouldn’t be a massive problem if the oldest aircraft disappeared. After all, the vast majority of the Emirates Airbus A380 fleet remains grounded. However, the airline sees a different future. Towards the start of the year, Clark revealed that he hoped to have the entire fleet back in the skies by the end of the year.
Remaining focused on the Boeing 777X
The good news for Clark is that Boeing remains focused on the 777X program. As such, it seems that a 2025 delivery of the first Emirates 777X remains a worst-case scenario rather than a likely outcome. A Boeing spokesperson commenting to Simple Flying said,
“We’re working closely with global regulators on all aspects of 777X development, including our rigorous test program. Our team remains focused on executing this comprehensive series of tests and conditions to demonstrate the safety and reliability of the airplane’s design. It is diligent, deliberate work and we are pleased with the progress to date. We also are providing regular updates to our launch customers.”
The biggest Boeing 777X customer
Emirates is currently the biggest Boeing 777X customer with 115 of the type on order. The airline’s original order for the new widebody was for 150 aircraft. At the 2019 Dubai Airshow, the airline reduced the order for the 777X, with a new order for some smaller 787s. The remaining 777X aircraft will be split across the two models, the -8 and the -9. However, the exact breakdown isn’t currently clear. More recently, Clark suggested that the airline could downgrade more orders to the 787.
When do you think Emirates will take delivery of its first Boeing 777X? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!