Boeing recently revealed that it expects its upcoming 777X widebody series to enter service within the next two years. As such, with the type’s commercial introduction, it is worth looking at its largest customers. A selection of full-service airlines from around the world have placed orders for the type, but which will have the largest 777X fleet? Let’s find out.
Starting off small
According to Boeing’s data, the US planemaker presently has 320 aircraft from its forthcoming Boeing 777X family on order. Of these, the smallest orders belong to European airlines, such as German flag carrier Lufthansa. The Frankfurt-based Star Alliance founding member ordered 20 examples of the 777X in November 2013, with 14 options.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Europe, UK flag carrier British Airways will receive 18 Boeing 777X series aircraft. It ordered these in March 2019, alongside options for a further 24. As of February 2021, the Heathrow-based oneworld founding member was expecting to receive these modern twin-aisle jets between 2024 and 2027 (delayed from 2022).
It is worth noting that there are still 10 777X orders without a known airline. Boeing’s data lists these twinjets as having been ordered by an unidentified customer in June 2015. It will be interesting to see where these end up, and when they will be delivered.
Mid-ranking Asian orders
As it happens, all of the Boeing 777X’s largest six customers are airlines that are based in Asia. Japanese carrier (ANA) ordered 20 examples of the next-generation widebody family in July 2014, while Cathay Pacific ordered 21 examples in December 2013. However, both of these two carriers have considered deferring their 777X deliveries.
Moving upwards into the mid-twenties, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, ordered 25 777X series planes back in November 2013, making it one of the first customers. Next on the list is Singapore Airlines, which has ordered 31 777X aircraft. It placed an initial order for 20 of these in June 2017, before adding another 11 in February 2021.
The second-largest customer is Qatar Airways, with the Doha-based carrier having ordered 60. It placed an order for 50 in July 2014, followed by another 10 in June 2015. There may be more to come, with Boeing having offered the airline the option of a 777X freighter.
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The largest of them all
But what is the world’s largest Boeing 777X order? In total, an impressive 115 of the General Electric-engined next-generation widebodies are set to join Emirates. The airline has actually placed orders for a total of 150 777X aircraft, which it ordered in July 2014.
However, Emirates has expressed frustration regarding the delays that have hampered the 777X program. As such, it has made revisions to its order, which has left it at 115 aircraft (although this is still the largest worldwide). It has swapped some orders for the 787, and even had to extend the service lives of its Airbus A380s owing to the holdups.
What do you make of the Boeing 777X? Which of these airlines are you most looking forward to seeing operate the type? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.