All Nippon Airways has 14 Boeing 777Xs on order. The aircraft has been beset with delays with its first flight only recently taking place. Deliveries are now expected to begin in 2021.
How is this impacting at ANA? When can we expect ANA’s first 777X to take to the skies?
ANA in the queue for the 777X
ANA’s 777X order dates back to March 2014. At the time, ANA ordered 40 aircraft that included 20 Boeing 777-9X aircraft. However, ANA joined a queue of customers for the aircraft that plans to revolutionize long-haul flying.
Lufthansa, with an order dating back to November 2013 will be the launch customer. Etihad, Emirates, Qatar, and Cathay Pacific are all ahead of ANA in the queue. But with the Middle East carriers gaining a reputation for trimming and canceling orders, that queue has shortened.
Over at Boeing, problems with the 777X’s engines pushed back the first flight from 2019 to early 2020. A compressor anomaly occurred on one of the GE9X engines during pre-delivery tests. The engines then needed to be modified to a final certifiable configuration.
This, in turn, pushed back the expected entry into service date of the aircraft. In August 2019, a Boeing spokesperson said;
“We reviewed our development program schedule and the needs of our current 777X customers and decided to adjust the schedule.”
On 25 January 2020, the first 777X flight took place out of Paine Field in Everett. The first deliveries in 2021 are now one year behind the original schedule.
What ANA said last week at an investor’s briefing
Over at ANA, the 777-9Xs were bought to replace their long-haul 777-300ERs. The airline currently has 28 Boeing 777-300ERs in service.
As reported in Aviation Wire, ANA’s Group General Manager, Fukuzawa Ichiro told an investor’s briefing in Tokyo on 30 January 2020, that ANA was expecting the first 777-9X to be delivered by the end of the 2020 financial year.
The Japanese financial year runs from 1 April to 31 March. So, ANA is expecting to receive its first 777X in about 12 months’ time.
Fukuzawa Ichiro said the delivery date hadn’t shifted from an earlier expected delivery date.
Delays impact competitor airlines
Competitors Lufthansa and Emirates had expected to receive their first 777Xs by the middle of 2020. That timeline has been pushed back. In November 2019, Emirates cut its order for the 777X from 150 to 126, taking 787 aircraft instead.
The Emirates decision come two months after Tim Clark, Emirates CEO, savaged both Boeing and Airbus for delays and problems with their aircraft production lines. He told Skift that Emirates won’t be accepting aircraft until their reliability is proven.
“The fact is, the Boeing 777X is delayed as a result of engine issues, and we are unsure as to when this is going to be resolved.
“I have been in this business longer than I like to remember, and I have seen airline and engine developments which are beset with problems. The airlines are now being required to deal with those, and work together with manufacturers to get them resolved.
“I say no. I say, ‘you give us airframes and engines that work from day one.’ If you can’t do it, don’t produce them.”
It’s a call that would have been heartily endorsed by airline CEOs around the world. But with the first 777X having now taken to the skies, customer airlines could be taking heart that there is progress.
ANA seems sanguine about the 777Xs long-delayed gestation and birth. Simple Flying reached out to them asking about the imminent arrival of their first 777X. We have not heard back before publication.