Adding To The 777X Order Backlog
Emirates has already committed to the 777X series in sheer numbers. Currently, the airline is the largest customer, with orders tallying three digits.
However, it may be now looking to add more to its order backlog as competition in the market continues to ramp up.
Several dozen new Boeing 777Xs would be included in a new deal by the airline, which is a massive boost to the widebody program.
Boeing 777X Program Struggles
Since its announcement, the Boeing 777X has been a long-anticipated entry into the long-haul widebody market.
However, persistent delays to the entry into service and overall certification program have meant that airlines such as Emirates have been forced to wait.
Boeing initially targeted a 2020 entry into service. However, it was forced to delay this significantly across multiple periods until a 2025 EIS was settled on.
As a result of increased concerns in the market amidst a global pandemic and drop in long-haul travel. Boeing has struggled to sell their 777X to customers in recent history.
Boeing will be eyeing an increase in backlog for a series introduced to fend off Airbus’ offering and replace 747s and 777s at some airlines.
The aviation industry offers substantial competition, with airlines looking to capture demand and grow their fleet.
Notably, the emergence of Turkish Airlines with solid growth plans and a looming order for 300+ aircraft can pose a risk for many Middle Eastern carriers.
This is given the proximity of Turkey and the capabilities of next-generation planes nowadays to offer similar missions.
Middle Eastern airlines such as Emirates must keep watch on existing carriers such as Turkish with firm growth plans and emerging ones.
Riyadh Air is set to burst onto the scene in 2025 with a fleet of Boeing 787s and soon-to-be-announced 737 MAXs.
While Riyadh doesn’t intend to compete with Emirates, the Dubai-based airline will no doubt be keeping a close eye on this airline’s long-term developments.
A focus, especially as close neighbours Saudi Arabia, plan to increase travel significantly over the next decade.
Emirates’ Rough 777X Relationship
However, Emirates’ relationship with Boeing has been anything but smooth in recent years.
President Sir Tim Clark has often voiced concerns over the continued delays in the 777X program and the implications on the airline.
These frustrations nearly went as far as the airline cancelling an order for the 777X. While analysts argued it could be a way to obtain compensation for the delays, the airline still made public threats around the aircraft.
In 2024, however, Emirates will welcome a 777X in Dubai to help with the testing process for the airline.
During this period, the airline can deploy the aircraft on test routes that the 777X will likely feature on in preparation for delivery.