Emirates: no 777-9 until 2021

Emirates President Sir Tim Clarke said yesterday at a briefing in Dubai, that the airline, which is the scheduled launch customer for the 777-9, won’t see its first until 2021.

The airline was supposed to have seen 8 by the end of 2020.

Boeing has had to revise stress testing and the engine developer GE is a long way behind in its development cycle. The first flight was due in June 2019 but is unlikely to happen before March 2020.

Emirates has said this year it will no longer accept any engine or aircraft that hasn’t been fully tested to far higher standards of reliability than seen in the Rolls Royce and GE-P&W Engine Alliance units on A380’s.

Boeing is now in the bizarre position of building aircraft that have neither been properly tested or even flown – forcing it to slow down 777-9 production to a crawl.

Emirates has 150 777-8/9 on order and will replace the A380 with them. It also has 70 787’s on order which Clarke said he still sees a place for.

The airline agreed with Airbus as part of the deal to end A380 purchases, to buy 40 A330-900 and 30 A350-900.