Emirates, Etihad Airways among airlines to order new aircraft as manufacturing process hits major milestone
Boeing has brought together the major fuselage sections together to form the first 777X airplane that will take to the skies in 2019.
To date, Boeing has received 340 orders and commitments for the 777X from several airlines, including Emirates, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines.
Emirates is understood to be the first operator of the new Boeing 777X aircraft, with president Tim Clark saying last year that he expects to take delivery of the first aircraft in early 2020.
In a major production milestone called final body join, Boeing said teams connected the airplane’s nose, mid and aft sections in the company’s factory in Everett, Washington.
"The 777X is a new airplane and a new production system," said Josh Binder, vice president and general manager of the 777X. "With the 777X, the production system was integrated into the development program sooner than any other airplane, and the team is doing a great job of hitting our milestones as expected."
The 777X builds on the 777 and the 787 Dreamliner to offer airlines the largest and most-efficient twin-engine jet in the world. The airplane provides 12 percent lower fuel consumption and 10 percent lower operating costs than competing airplanes.
The first 777X introduced will be the 777-9 model, which can seat 400 to 425 passengers in a standard configuration and offer a range of 7,600 nautical miles (14,075km).
Passengers will enjoy windows that are larger and located higher on the fuselage than the current 777, along with a wider cabin, new lighting and enhanced architecture.
The first 777X test airplane for static ground testing was completed in September and the first flight is scheduled for 2019. First delivery is slated for 2020.