Boeing (Chicago, Ill., USA) on Nov. 7 officially launched the 777X program at the 2013 Dubai Airshow with a record-breaking number of customer orders and commitments for the newest member of its twin-aisle product family. The company reported agreements for 259 airplanes from four customers across Europe and the Middle East.
The 777X introduces the latest technologies in multiple places, including the most advanced commercial engine ever – the GE9X by GE Aviation – and an all-new high-efficiency composite wing that has a longer span than today's 777. The airplane's folding, raked wingtip and optimized span deliver greater efficiency, significant fuel savings and complete airport gate compatibility.
Representing the largest product launch in commercial jetliner history by dollar value, 777X orders and commitments include Lufthansa with 34 airplanes; Etihad Airways with 25; Qatar Airways with 50 and Emirates with 150 airplanes. The combined value of the agreements is more than $95 billion at list prices.
The 777X builds on the 777, which today commands 55 percent of market share in its category in terms of backlog, and 71 percent of the in-service fleet worldwide. The 777X family includes the 777-8X and the 777-9X, both designed to respond to market needs and customer preferences.
"We are proud to partner with each of these esteemed airlines to launch the 777X – the largest and most- efficient twin-engine jetliner in the world," says Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Ray Conner. "Its ground-breaking engine technologies and all-new composite wing will deliver unsurpassed value and growth potential to our customers."
Opening new growth opportunities for airlines, the 777-9X offers seating for more than 400 passengers, depending on an airline's configuration choices. With a range of more than 8,200 nautical miles (15,185 km), the airplane will have the lowest operating cost per seat of any commercial airplane.
The second member of the family, the 777-8X, will seat 350 passengers and offer a range capability of more than 9,300 nautical miles (17,220 km). In addition, the airplane will have unmatched takeoff and payload capability compared to the competition.
Like the 787 Dreamliner which was launched as the 7E7, the 777X will be formally named at a later date. Design of the 777X is underway and suppliers will be named in the coming months. Production is set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2020.
In other Boeing news, the company reported that the 787 Dreamliner received its 1,000th customer order today when Etihad Airways announced an order for 30 787-10 Dreamliners, valued at $8.7 billion at list prices. With this order, the Dreamliner family has reached this sales milestone faster than any other widebody airplane in aviation history.
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