Boeing is set to delay the 777-9 entry to service by as much as two years, according to sources at the company.
Already airlines like Emirates have made it clear that Boeing isn’t going to deliver any aircraft before Q1 of 2021, but sources at Boeing are suggesting a major announcement on a Q4 2021/Q1 2022 first delivery, is now far more likely.
Boeing is expected to deliver the news this week.
None of the 777-9’s major customer are even slightly interested in the aircraft right now. The long haul market is essentially on life support at present, and airlines are already facing the prospects of second wave Covid infections continuing to depress demand.
The strategy now seems to have shifted to the near inevitable global retirement of the A380 outside of Emirates. Even British Airways is said to be wondering if it’s 12 will ever be viable again.
Boeing sees the A380 exit and the retirement of older 777-300 and 777-300ER’s as the way the 777-9 will find its way into fleets.
The other issue that Boeing doesn’t want to discuss, is the back room certification process and the FAA’s doubling down on the way it’s so far been processed. Much of the 777-9 project happened in tandem with the process used on the 737MAX, and the FAA has no intention of being caught out again.
The extra time will enable Boeing to make sure every last issue is ironed out before deliveries are made.