There has been lot of excitement towards the 777X program since it was announced in 2013. Many airlines were looking forward to getting their hands on the 777-8 and 777-9 jets. However, there has been a twist in the industry this year, which has impacted the introduction of the widebodies.
At the end of July, Boeing said that will be delay to the 777X program due to COVID-19 pandemic. The target is to get the aircraft into passenger service, once the demand peaks up. They are hoping to join the fleet next year.
The manufacturer now expects the initial delivery to be in 2022. There have also been manufacturing problems in the fuselage, so the delayed time should give enough time for the company to regroup.
On the other hand, there is some good news, the third 777X airframe has made its maiden flight, less than a week after the manufacturer said its first delivery of the type would be pushed back to 2022. The aircraft, with the tail number N779XY, took off from Everett, near Seattle, shortly before 14:00 local time on 3 August, and landed 1h later at Moses Lake, Washington before returning to Boeing Field.
This airframe is slated to conduct tests that has to do with the avionics system, auxiliary power unit, flight loads and propulsion performance, Boeing says. It is painted in Boeing’s new (light livery).
Boeing set the 777-9 first delivery on 2022, but previously they said they would begin the delivery of the first 777X in 2021. That change marks another significant delay for the 777-9, as it continues its flight-test programme amid what analysts call the worst aviation downturn in history.