Boeing 777-9 on the way to what was hoped to be its first flight Jan. 24. Photo by Scott Hamilton.
Airlines grounded a large number of aircraft due to the collapse in passenger demand. As a result, there will be plenty of aircraft in long-term storage available for lease or purchase at discounted prices once demand recovers.
These aircraft will compete against those coming off the assembly line. The 777-9 is planned to enter service in 2021 at the earliest. Apart from Lufthansa, all the airlines that ordered the 777X are 777-300ER operators. Once traffic bounces back, they will have to ponder whether they are better off keeping (or sourcing) older 777-300ERs or take deliveries of 777-9s as scheduled.
In this article series, we will compare the economics of the 777-300ER with the 777-9 on the world’s busiest intercontinental route.
Depressed demand brings airlines to the brink;
Near-terminal wounds to heal once demand recovers;
A perfect storm for new (large and expensive) aircraft;
Peculiarities of operating on the busiest intercontinental route.