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Airlines rush to buy Sydney-London non-stop plane

November 28, 2013 Aviation, Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

egtmedia59Airlines are lining up to buy the Boeing 777X, an aircraft that holds the promise of Sydney to London non-stop flight at fares 20% below current levels.

While the Boeing 787 is having a few problems, the 777X was the talk of the 2013 Dubai Airshow, with a record-breaking number of customer orders and commitments representing the largest product launch in commercial jetliner history by dollar value.

The 777X orders and commitments include: Lufthansa with 34 aircraft; Etihad Airways with 25; Qatar Airways with 50 and Emirates with 150 planes. The combined value of the agreements is more than USD 95 billion at list prices.B777X

“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,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and chief executive Ray Conner told delegates in Dubai.

“Its ground-breaking engine technologies and all-new composite wing will deliver unsurpassed value and growth potential to our customers.”

The staggering order from Emirates, world’s largest airline in terms of international flights, shows the faith it has in the new B777 variant. Emirates is the world’s largest operator of B777s. Its partner Qantas operates none at all, an omission many consider a serious oversight.

“This machine will do Sydney to Rome or Perth to London [with a full payload],” Emirates President Tim Clark told Geoffrey Thomas, editor of the airline quality and safety ranking website “There will not be a city on the planet – aside from the mid-Pacific – we can’t reach.”

While Clark spoke of flying Sydney/Rome or Perth/London with a full payload, another new 777X variant, the 777-8X, will seat 350 passengers and offer an incredible range capability of more than 9300 nautical miles (17,220 km). That’s further than Sydney/London, though not by a big margin.

Clark said every longhaul airline would want to buy the plane. Many already have, eager to acquire an aircraft that’s 20% more efficient per seat than the current industry benchmark, the 777-300ER.

Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Air France are among those reported to be interested.

The 777X builds on the 777, which today commands 55% of market share in its category in terms of backlog, and 71% 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.

The 777-9X offers seating for more than 400 passengers, depending on an airline’s configuration choices. With a range of more than 8200 nautical miles (15,185 km), the plane will have the lowest operating cost per seat of any commercial aircraft.

The second member of the family, the 777-8X, will seat 350 passengers and be able to fly further than 9300 nautical miles (17,220 km). That’s Sydney/London non-stop already, and it seems evident that technology in the not-too-distant future will push the limits beyond that.

Written by : Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. AgentGerko says:

    The article is correct in pointing out what a mistake QF made by never buying the B777. It is an ideal aircraft for a country where almost every intl route is considered longhaul. As it stands there is a huge cap in the QF fleet between the A380 which is fine for routes to LAX and LHR but is too big for regional flights and the A330 which is fine for routes to MNL and JKT but doesn’t have the range for Europe or the US nor the capacity for SIN or HKG. The B777 would have filled the gap nicely, but instead they hammered on with ageing B747s and B767s. The new B777x would allow QF to reopen new gateways in Europe and perhaps become less of Emirates very poor cousin. And I know they have hopes for the B787 but frankly I still wouldn’t sit my mother-in-law on one of those, whereas the B777 has proven to be one of the most reliable aircraft in service.

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