Boeing confirms delay to 777X service entry

As it reported its largest full-year loss in its more than 100-year history, the Chicago-based giant outlined an updated plan for its next-generation widebody 

US aircraft manufacturer Boeing revealed it expects first deliveries of its new 777X to begin in “late 2023”, adding another year-long extension to an already delayed programme that was originally scheduled to hand over its first airframe to the then launch customer, Lufthansa in 2019. 

All photos Boeing

In its quarterly resulting filing, the US giant stated the updated schedule reflected a number of factors including an “updated assessment of global certification requirements, the company's latest assessment of COVID-19 impacts on market demand, and discussions with its customers with respect to aircraft delivery timing.” 

In a statement to employees, Dave Calhoun, Boeing CEO, commented: “We remain confident in the 777X and the unmatched capabilities and value it will offer our customers.” 

Boeing 777X

A year ago, on Monday (January 25), the type took to the skies for the first time. Since then, the four test airframes have all joined the flight test programme. 

The delay came as Boeing announced a record full-year financial loss of nearly £12bn in 2020, a year that saw the firm handle severely depressed demand for new jets caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of the 737 MAX crisis. 

Boeing 737 MAX

Calhoun added: “The deep impacts of COVID-19 on commercial air travel, as well as the 737 MAX grounding, are reflected in our performance. Our balanced portfolio of diverse defence, space and services programmes continues to provide important stability for us as we lay the foundation for commercial market recovery.” 

The dismal results came the same day that more positive news emerged from Europe surrounding the recertification of its embattled 737 MAX aircraft. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) gave the green light for operators to begin reintroducing the type back into service after nearly two years on the ground.