Emirates chairman says Boeing 777x entry into service may slide into 2023 ‘or longer’ by Reuters

© Reuters.

By Alexander Cornwell DUBAI (Reuters) – Emirates Airline Chairman Tim Clark said Wednesday that Boeing (NYSE 🙂 Co’s 777X might not enter service with airlines until 2023 or even later amid uncertainty. on the development schedule for Boeing’s largest twin-engine aircraft and when it will be certified. Boeing has been developing the wide-body jet, a new version of its popular 777 aircraft, with the goal of launching it in 2022, two years later than planned. The 777X will be the first major aircraft to be certified, as software failures in two Boeing 737 MAX aircraft led to fatal crashes and led to allegations of cordial relations between the company and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). “It’s a question of when that aircraft will be completed and certified and offered for entry into service. That could be the 22nd, it could be the 23rd, it could be even longer,” Clark told Reuters in an interview. “So we’ll wait and see what Boeing will do about that and look at how they fit into the fleet at that particular time.” Boeing could not immediately be reached for comment. Clark said he expected regulators to put the new plane under a higher level of scrutiny as a result of the MAX crisis, and Boeing CFO Greg Smith warned that market entry would be influenced by regulators’ requirements. But Clark doubted that this would significantly increase the existing delays. “This is essentially a modern 777, which of course is a workhorse for international travel and has been an excellent and completely reliable Boeing design, so I don’t see why the 777X should be any different,” Clark said. European regulators in particular have said they will subject the 777X to additional scrutiny after fatal accidents led to the 737 MAX being grounded for 20 months. MAX crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people in five months in 2018 and 2019 and triggered multiple investigations and weakened America’s influence over global aviation. Emirates originally ordered 150 of the 777X series, seating 406 people, and now has 126 orders. Analysts say the COVID-19 crisis has clouded demand for such large planes. The aircraft was originally scheduled to enter service with Emirates in June 2020.

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