Special Edition of Pontifications
Advancing EIS of the 777X
I’m somewhat bemused by all the fuss over the prospect of Boeing advancing the delivery of the 777X from early 2020 to late 2019. This has been the plan for more than a year. That’s what my sources have been telling me all this time.
It’s been the desire longer that that.
EIS in late 2019 was the original plan. When the Boeing Board of Directors gave the authority to offer the 777X for sale, the EIS was acknowledged to be late 2019. See our story from May 2, 2013.
Going to 2020 became the fall-back position. Take a look at this article on LNC from October 25, 2012. Even after early 2020 was firmed up as EIS, I continued to hear that Boeing would like to advance the EIS to late 2019. It was, like the 737 MAX, an effort to under-promise and over-deliver after years of delays on the 787 and 747-8 programs. (The MAX originally was announced as a late 2017 delivery date, later emerging as October. This was subsequently advanced to July, and market talk has been that a March EIS might be a new target.)
While some think these advanced dates are desired due to difficulties in bridging the production gap between the current generation airplanes and the new ones–which is probably true enough–the fact is, in both instances the earlier EIS dates were early desires in the program, not a response to gap concerns.