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Nov 8, 2013

Emirates and the rest test Boeing's 777 X factors

The intensity of negotiations between Emirates and Boeing as to what the 777-X series will be is reaching new heights in the global media. Today it's  Emirates turnin

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The proposed 777-9: Boeing graphic

The intensity of negotiations between Emirates and Boeing as to what the 777-X series will be is reaching new heights in the global media.

Today it’s  Emirates turning the screws on Boeing, in this Bloomberg story.

But recently it was Boeing hyping the massive orders it expects to be announced at the Dubai Air Show, which runs from 17-21 November at the new Dubai World Central airport.

There are several things that can be dispassionately said about this fascinating situation.

  • One is the that the  777-X series will be huge, and it will be successful, and
  • It will strongly influence Airbus in its development of the A350 and A380 lines, but not necessarily immediately.

The trickier issues involve the extent to which a 777-X series airliner optimised to win a massive order from Emirates will produce an airliner that satisfies the requirements of other customers, and when it will actually and reliably enter service.

Emirates has already said it now expects the 777-X to enter service late in 2020 or 2021, although Boeing usually talks about 2019. The all new Airbus A350 XWB line which is already undergoing test and certification flights, is likely to start service around September next year, with a larger version coming on line in 2017.

And Emirates is a big customer for the A350 as well. And the A350 can be further stretched to be close to the capacity of the proposed 777-9X model.  And Emirates has also expressed yet again a long standing desire for an even larger A380 than the version it now flies.

All of which has lead to tensions in the other-airlines-of-the-world camp over the Emiratesization of everything they are likely to buy for the foreseeable future.

Meanwhile back in the your-testicles-in-the-meat-grinder genre of media signalling, the president of Emirates Tim Clark says in the Bloomberg report:

You’re looking at high numbers,” Clark said in an interview yesterday at the Arab Air Carriers Organization meeting in Doha, Qatar. “That’s why it’s so important to us even at this very late stage that we get it absolutely right.”

Clark said Boeing is “not quite there yet” and still has “work to do” on the 777X before he commits to unveil a deal as early as the Dubai Air Show in 10 days.

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