It appears that Qatar Airways has become the launch customer for the Boeing 777X. The airline’s CEO, Akbar Al Baker, made comments suggesting that he would receive his first 777X aircraft in 2023. Al Baker indicated that the Qatari flag carrier expects to take three of the jet by the end of 2023.
Yesterday, Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates, suggested that his first 777X aircraft may not be delivered until 2025 at the latest. Boeing’s official position is that the first aircraft from the new 777X family will be delivered in 2023. Initially, the first aircraft were due to be delivered to Lufthansa and Emirates last summer.
Has Qatar Airways become the 777X’s launch customer?
For the past few years, Lufthansa has been slated to be the launch customer of the Boeing 777X. However, it seems as though the delivery order may have been shuffled, according to the CEO of Qatar Airways.
Talking at a US-Qatari Business Council event, Al Baker said,
“Qatar Airways is also the launch customer of the Boeing 777X aircraft and is actively working with Boeing on the design and performance specification for this new aircraft type.”
Al Baker went on to reveal he believes that Qatar will take three of the 777X by the end of 2023, adding,
“We will take the 777X whenever it is ready, as soon as it is ready. I think Boeing has notified us that there will be a delay on the delivery of those aircraft until 2023, so in the year 2023 we will receive our first three 777X aircraft.”
Another 777X launch?
This isn’t the first time Al Baker has indicated that he would like to be the launch customer of a Boeing 777X. According to FlightGlobal, He suggested that Qatar Airways would happily become the launch customer of a dedicated 777X freighter.
Just days ago, Simple Flying reported that Qatar Airways renewed its interest in such an aircraft should Boeing build it. Qatar Airways is currently one of the largest operators of the 777F.
So what is the latest with 777X?
The Boeing 777X is currently undergoing testing before certification by the relevant authorities. Earlier this year, Boeing revealed that certification requirements and customer demands had led to the program being delayed until 2023.
Commenting on the Boeing 777X program, a Boeing spokesperson tods Simple Flying,
“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.”
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