With 115 777-9’s on order, by far the largest number of anyone, Emirates is facing the fact the aggressively sized order of what will, in effect, replace its A380 fleet over the years, may be too big.
It already has 30 787-9’s on order and has said that it wants to cut the 115 777-9 order and swap it for more 787’s.
The Emirates seating on the 777-9 is planned to be 426 in a two class configuration, with the 789’s carrying just 290.
The exact numbers are yet to be revealed and Boeing are said to really want Emirates to take the 777-9 initial aircraft before they take the 787’s because the 779 is key and needs to be seen in service. The first 787-9’s were initially scheduled for early 2023, the first 777-9’s should have already been in service, but none will be delivered before 2022.
Emirates has already delayed taking three A380’s from June this year until the end of December.
The problem for Boeing is a growing lack of interest from some airlines on the enormous 777-9 and its huge costs, any order cuts will be deeply disappointing, and financially will come close to preventing the aircraft ever breaking even.
The 777-8 is effectively doomed and development work on it has been stopped. Qatar and Emirates ordered 34 between them and what those aircraft become is still unclear. Neither airline wants to bring them up because they see it that Boeing has in effect prevented them from having to cancel them. In effect if they do nothing and Boeing does nothing, the orders will simply fade away and one day be dropped quietly from Boeing’s lists.