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Emirates CEO Indicates Boeing 777X Deliveries May Be Postponed Until 2026

Tim Clark, President of Emirates, has indicated a further delay in the airline receiving its first Boeing 777X aircraft, now potentially postponed to 2026. Originally set to commence service in 2020, this announcement marks another setback. Speaking at an Aviation Club event in London, Clark suggested that the delivery might occur in late 2025 or 2026, as reported by Reuters. This contrasts with Boeing’s initial commitment at the Dubai Airshow in November 2013, where the company pledged the first delivery of the 777X by 2020.

Delays of the 777X

Subsequent delays have occurred, stemming from complications with the GE9X engine and regulatory certification challenges involving the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other regulatory bodies. In Boeing’s Q4 2023 investor call, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Brian West stated that Boeing is adhering to the FAA’s guidance throughout the certification procedure.

West also noted, that in the quarter, they’ve recorded $71 million in abnormal costs, which, following the resumption of production, are now fully accounted for and align with Boeing’s projections.

“We’ve booked $71 million of abnormal costs in the quarter, which is now fully behind us after resuming production, in line with our expectations.”

Brian West, the chief financial officer (CFO) and Executive Vice President of Boeing

In 2022, Boeing halted the production of the 777X. David Calhoun, President and CEO of Boeing, explained that this decision was taken from a position of strength. He emphasized that the company has incorporated all the insights gained from the 737 MAX recertification process in April 2022 into its operations.

Boeing 777X Production pause

During this period, Brian West elaborated on Boeing’s financial strategy, stating the adjustment in the 777-9 production rate, including the production pause extending through 2023, was a cash flow management measure. This approach aimed to minimize inventory buildup, reduce the number of 777X aircraft needing modifications, and prevent the capitalization of costs on the company’s balance sheet, as West clarified in April 2022.

In the most recent quarterly briefing, Brian West reported that Boeing has recommenced the production of the 777X, adhering to the original program schedule. However, he did not specify a timeline for when the FAA might grant certification to the aircraft type.

Boeing’s Q4 2023 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission revealed the production of four aircraft, combining the 777F and 777X models, with the company continuing the manufacture of the 777F freighter. As of January 31, 2024, Boeing has 56 pending orders for the 777F and 453 for the 777X, encompassing the 777-8, 777-8F, and 777-9 variants.

Emirates belief in the 777X

Despite experiencing delays, Emirates has further committed to the 777X program by placing additional orders. At the Dubai Airshow in November 2023, the airline adjusted its Boeing order portfolio to include 35 777-8s, 55 777-9s, 20 787-8s, and 15 787-10s. This brings Emirates’ total orders for Boeing 777X aircraft to 205.


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