Podcast: 10 Minutes About the Boeing 777X777X, Vincent Valery

Dec. 28, 2020, (c) Leeham News: Today LNA discusses 10 Minutes About the Boeing 777X.

Something that should have caught Boeing’s attention at the time of the 777X launch was the lack of interest from two key customer groups: the 777-300ER launch operator, Air France, and US airlines. The lack of orders from such airlines was perhaps a sign of a market smaller than what Boeing would have envisioned.

The discussion today looks at the program status and whether Boeing might cancel it. Scott Hamilton is joined by Vincent Valery, a writer and financial analyst for LNA.

Boeing rendering.

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Podcast: 10 Minutes About the Boeing 777X777X, Vincent Valery

87 Comments on “Podcast: 10 Minutes About the Boeing 777X777X, Vincent Valery

  1. For some reason, the audio doesn’t work for me on Safari and iOS. Firefox is fine.

  2. I always found it rather telling that there were never any US orders for the 777X; after all, the three big US carriers are in the top 4 airlines worldwide both as regards revenue and passengers carried, and all of them had/have 777s in service. Does anyone have real-world data as to the average load factors that US carriers achieved on their 777s? It was probably disappointing.

    This thing is DoA: even before CoViD, the world had already turned its back on the VLA model.

    • Well the US gave up on 747 Pax and Boeing went into it knowing they had no orders.

      Management pretending to do something with another knee jerk compromise.

      Its become a Boeing hallmark.

    • US carriers came very late to the 777-300ER model and they were buying the plane -at good prices- during its runout alongside the freighter model.
      United has taken 22 in the last 5 years . American has taken 20 from 2012-2016
      Even British Airways took 2 new 777-300ER at start of 2020.

      You arent going to order 777X if you are taking brand new 777-300ER

    • Yeah but the 3 remaining US legacy carriers haven’t pulled in on a lot of planes in recent history. 9/11 is more present than one might think, the managers are afraid of overcapacity like crazy.

      It was not only the B777x. It was the A380 too. It was also the B77W, a highly successful airplane, which didn’t get bought by the US airlines though most of them had B777-200 versions.
      AA did buy their B77W rather late, and only operates 20 while now focusing on an all B787 WB fleet.
      Delta didn’t buy any B77W though it had B744 and B777-200 versions.
      United did operate 44 B744 and only has 22 B77w, while shifting to a huge B787 fleet.

      While SIA, ME3, Cathay Pacific, Air France & KLM, ANA, etc. all operate large B77W fleets.
      The 3 large US carriers really went to the efficient mid sized twin in larger numbers, they basically only ordered B787 – mainly -9 respective A339 and A359.
      I say, the 3 big US airlines are actually more radical in their trend to the middle and into efficiency.

      • Plane selection:
        You can not flee the (resource wise inefficient) frequency. If you fly bigger frames but with less frequency you lose customers.
        A cul de sac like dinosaurs.

  3. Boeing can earn more with widebodies because often costs per seat sell (narrow 10-abreast seating). So Boeing can ask for much higher prices and can earn more and with their greed won’t cancel the chance to earn more.
    That might be a reason why the 737 is so old, less interesting to invest much for Boeing.

    In former times there was also not much competition from Airbus.

    When checking Ishka values the 777 is losing much more worth. Old A330 have higher values than the 777.
    20 years old 777-200ER $10m, A330-200 $10.25m, A330-300 $13m.
    15 years old 777-200ER $18m, A330-200 $17m, when the 777-200ER is much bigger.
    Seems the 777 wasn’t a good choice.

    The 777X got much needed better wings, but not better than the A350. Instead of investing in folding wings with 71.75m wingspan and all the trouble Boeing would better have chosen 79.75m unfolding wings to beat the A350.

    When checking 777X sales there were 3 ocasions when more orders happened.
    Nov/Dec 2013 = 25 Etihad, 20 Lufthansa, 21 Cathay
    July 2014 = 20 ANA, 50 Qatar, 150 Emirates
    June 2015 = 10 Qatar, 10 unidentified
    Why these 3 ocasions?
    After 2015 the 777X seems less interesting.
    And now Clark was asking if the 777X has new software.
    Hard Times for Boeing. Who would pay much for poor quality and Jedi-mind tricking.

  4. Cancellation scenario after billions sunk into the program would surely be the final nail in the Boeing coffin, a very extremely unlikely scenario. Most likely scenario is ME airlines defer their deliveries which buys Boeing time to fill cert gaps as they arise.

    • I don’t think there is a wooden stake for Boeing.

      How many times can you hose up and as the crash was on going, borrow money to pay a dividend?

      As someone noted once, if you are going to owe money, owe lots.

      Boeing is like the Hydra, it just can’t die. Hotel California? Rarely do you see a company change. Ford comes to mind. But one guy controlled it and he was astute enough to realize he was failing and did what needed to be done. I don’t see Boeing ever doing that. I surely hope I am wrong.

      Of course if we operated like that we would be living in the woods and we would be hearing how irresponsible we were.

  5. Unable to listen. Doesn’t play on iOS. My view on this is simply the difficulty Boeing would have in stopping this program and the position it would leave them in.

    Firstly so much of the heavy lifting has been done and there is some competitive strength in having the largest product out there.

    More significantly without it Boeing is effectively reduced to two key earners, B789 and M8, ceding the leadership at the bottom end of single aisle to the A220, the top end to the A321neo in all its guises and having a marginal superiority over the A320. The B787 program is hindered by the price inhibiting A339 and the old cash cow that was the B77w has been consigned to the history books by the A359. So Boeing is hemmed in with limited scope for charging a premium on any product. They need the B777x to be a success at some level to be in any way ‘competitive’. Without it what do Boeing do next?

  6. The 777X was built for mostly Emirates’ needs which was a big strategic mistake. The customer base is even smaller than the A380.

    As for the US, they didnt buy the 300ER until late and heavily discounted. So chances are they wouldn’t go for the -X anytime soon.

    Chances are, A350-1000 will take the crown from the 300ER – the 777x just can’t compete.

    The 787-9 and A350-900 will replace the 777-200 s and A330-300.

    The 787-8 and A330-800 could replace aging 767 and A330-200.

    • The A350-1000 hasn’t sold well at all. It is hindered by an engine that is straining to deliver the thrust needed.

      • Doesnt work like that. The plane maker decides the takeoff and top of climb thrust requirements ( which might vary for each airlines routes and airports) and the engine maker certifies their engine at that thrust.
        Maximum thrust is easily handled for the limited duration its required, no “strain” required. The A350 series is a much lighter plane than equivalent 777- so less takeoff thrust required. You’ll notice the Leap B engines for the 737 Max have less max thrust than A320s too, again its a lighter plane

        • What am I missing here:

          737 Max 8
          OEW: 99,360 lbs
          MTOW: 181,200 lbs

          OEW: 97,700 lbs
          MTOW: 174,200 lbs

          • Its the Max 7 , not yet certified, which is closest in capability to A320 ( its more seating than the old -700)

            The Max 8 was way ahead in range and seat capacity (162) than A320 neo (150) – which needs extra belly fuel tank for the same range

            The 737 advantage came with the NG which had an all new lighter wing than the older 737 models

          • I beg to differ;

            Max 8 range; 3550 NM
            A320Neo range: 3500 NM

            Max 8 1 class seating: 200 pax max
            A320 Neo: 195 pax max

            Max 7 range & seating; 3850 NM & 172 pax max

            The A319Neo is it’s competitior: 3750NM & 160



            Unless LUV places a big order for the Max 7, it will just have double digit orders, just like the A319 Neo – because both have had their market share eaten away by the A220-300 (which was the aircraft LUV was considering to diversify their fleet).

            Here is a comparison graph between BA and Airbus in the narrowbody segment and the capabilities of each aircraft:


            The A320Neo & Max 8 sit almost on top of each other.

            Max 7 & A319Neo are shrinks, which are usually too heavy to be as efficient as the definitive versions of a line.

          • Frank,

            on wikipedia you should check the source.
            MAX range numbers are from Boeing. No way the MAX-8 has 3550nm range. At that range Boeing’s payload-range curve is in the fuel restricted area and going down steeeeep. No pilot would ever plan a flight in that area.
            These are just Boeing’s foolish range assumptions.

            I can imagine the A319neo is much cheaper than the A220-300. The A220-300 has less weight but A319neo has bigger diameter more fuel efficient engines.
            I would buy A319neo.
            Too bad Airbus doesn’t provide a payload-range curve for the 70t A319neo.

        • Less thrust because of 1960 obstacle clearance and oei requirements. Ng wing is partial supercritical profile stuccoed on the classic wing structur.

  7. I feel like there is a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in BA’s future, and they might use that as an opportunity to cancel the 777x.

    • Yeah, it’s a somewhat precarious situation, isn’t it?
      Even though it basically has zero chance of success, Boeing can’t officially ax the 777X yet because the stock price would plummet. So they instead choose to delay the inevitable until a time when — in a positive scenario — some more MAX/787 deliveries will have put a little more fat on the bones…although it will essentially be virtual fat, since both the MAX and 787 programs are severely in the red.
      Meanwhile, airlines don’t mind the delay: it suits them just fine at the moment, and saves them having to pay cancellation fees and/or start haggling over substitute orders (for 787s that they probably don’t want anyway).

  8. This was Emirates baby. Sure they got LH and ANA to take 20 or so, but were they really beating down the door for them? It is perhaps a lesson in going against the conventional wisdom. In 2005, they were saying CFRP was the future. So why invest 10B in an AL tube in 2013? That was and is always the logical benchmark to resolve. Going forward will there be a new engine that is not a geared turbofan? If an engine company were to launch one, better have a good case to take a step back in technology, or not be too surprised when the inevitable plays out.
    On the good side it is a beautiful wing. From an economy passenger experience, I’ll pass. An E175 or A220 has much wider seats for much shorter flights. An uninspired move in aircraft design, cooking the economics to justify the case for an old AL tube at the expense of seat width.

    • I feel compelled to point out that a 777 of any kind does not run the same routes as a E175 or an A220!

      As has been noted, this was pointed right at the ME3 with a bit of peripheral pickup and the ME3 look to be a thing of the past.

      Doing an as cheap as you can gets you the 777X. Backed into a corner as you can’t make it compete shorter and has also been noted, the A350-1000 is not a raging success either.

      The 777X is really a two engine 747-8 and that was not selling.

      The sweet spot was the 777-300 and they gave that up.

      Like the 747-8 it will limp along but its not going to be the bird and seller the 777-300 was (and some of the same thing with A380, room for one bird in that slot but not two)

      • Up-gaging worked on narrow body sales, but it does appear to have stalled out with the new widebodies. True, when BA “invented” the 747, they created a whole new era and market, but like the A380 and the 747-8, they didn’t realize what the 787 and the A350 were doing. All the more reason BA should get going on the 757 and ultimately the NSA replacement; and, and (for emphasis) the NMA.

      • Feel compelled to point out that finding more comfortable seats in short/medium haul planes is not the way it should be!

        • I feel even more compelled to point out that in most cases, it’s the airlines that determine seating density. Not defending the billion across seats that carriers fit into the 777X, but those are the guys trying to squeeze every last drop of blood out of the stone.

  9. When the first preliminairy specification of the 777x faced, it became clear the 777x versions are 30t heavier than A350s when empty.

    Many wiped it away as insignificant, but that refuses to go away costwise. Any aerospace guy can make the calculations for 25 years of operation with 30t “dead weight”.

    Many / most of the (48?) A350 customers seem to have -900 -1000 conversion rights. And almost all 777x customers have A350 orders too. EK, QR, Ethiad, SQ, CX, LH, BA And they seem to like them.

    Qantas selected it over the 777x for ULH.

    • Well Sam, it’s pretty simple, but pretty complex – at the same time.

      If Boeing spent $10 billion developing the aircraft, they have to make some $33 million a copy, to break even, at 300 units.


      BA has chopped production to 2 a month. That’s 24 a year. That’s about 12 years to make those 300 aircraft.

      If Boeing was making and selling 4 a month, they’d get it done in 6 years.

      So that six more years that:

      – They have to keep the lights on
      – They have to keep the place heated
      – They have to maintain the premises
      – Insurance et al.

      With a lower production rate, everything that is a fixed cost has just added to the overall cost of each jet they produce. If a monthly $1 million total fixed cost were allocated over 4 jets, each one cost them $250k. Now it’s costing them $500k.

      Variable costs are most likely going up, as well.

      I am renovating my house. Go over to Home Depot for some gyproc. 10 sheets is price X. HOWEVER, if I buy a pallet of 40, I get 15% off. Buying less quantity always costs you more.


      Sure, Boeing is laying off staff. I am not sure that they can lay off 50% of the workforce that is dedicated to the drop in production rate.

      Economies of scale hurt you, when you have to slow down production.

    • The B777x is estimated to about 6 bn. $ in dev. cost.

      On 250 that’s 24 mio. $ per plane.

      On 300 that’s 20 mio. $ per plane.

      The main issue is another possible write-off due to certification and EIS delay. Causing the existing B777 line to run at a very low rate of 2 per month.
      Also Boeing gave high discounts on B777s to fill the gap, that’s why US carriers and LH (for Swiss) have bought new B77Ws. The discounts rumored in about 65% of list price, for basically the variable cost of manufacturing it, just to keep the line open and running.

      There is still the rumor of another forward loss for the B777x.

      The real danger is the behavior of the customers. Remember what a drama it was when the B787 was late? The customer went havoc, they really did need that plane. For the B777x, there’s no such thing. The customers are rather happy they don’t have to take their orders now.
      They don’t really need it, and if there was a cheap way out, I’m pretty sure most of the airlines ordering it would love to take their downpayment back and forget about their B777x order.
      Only Emirates and BA really need the B779.

      • I see what you mean by costs and break even point being elusive to pinpoint in today’s aerospace environment. As as a PS I’m going to go back to the Max. CNBC reported today as the plane takes to the sky again, that the cost savings on the Max are really motivating airlines to get it back to work. I still think BA will sell over 4000 of them.

        • Well Sam – Boeing has a tough stretch ahead of them.

          Back in Jan 2020, they estimated the grounding cost to be around $20 billion. It has undoubtedly risen, since then – but we’ll use that figure.

          The order book is ~ 3300 aircraft, with some 500 already produced. About those 500 sitting in the employee car park;

          There has been much speculation in the financial community that those planes will be pretty much given away to airlines, as compensation for the 21 month grounding.

          Confirmation of this has started to leak out – in a most recent SEC filing, LUV (Southwest airlines) has this to say:

          More from the SEC filing: “Taking into account planned retirements of its 737-700 aircraft, the Company does not intend to grow its fleet in 2021, compared with its fleet of 747 aircraft as of December 31, 2019. The details of the Boeing Agreement, which included the settlement of 2020 estimated damages relating to the grounding of the Company’s 737 MAX 8 aircraft, are confidential. However, as a result of certain delivery credits provided in the Boeing Agreement, as well as progress payments made to date on undelivered aircraft, the Company currently estimates an immaterial amount of aircraft capital expenditures in fourth quarter 2020 and full year 2021.”

          LUV is going to take delivery of 35 max’s through the end of 2021, but here is the fine print:

          ***However, as a result of certain delivery credits provided in the Boeing Agreement, as well as progress payments made to date on undelivered aircraft, the Company currently estimates an immaterial amount of aircraft capital expenditures in fourth quarter 2020 and full year 2021.***

          LUV is not sending any more money to BA for those 35 aircraft.


          In the most recent 10-Q filing of LUV, they sold 10 Max’s in a sale leaseback for some $410 million. Other carriers have done the same, getting between $40-45 an aircraft.
          However – LUV also had to account for ~$70 million GAIN on the sale. Even if you throw in a couple of million for depreciation (depending on how old the aircraft were at sale) that gives you a sale price in the $36 million range.

          The margin that BA makes on the Max is not huge. But if we use the $20 billion estimate and the current backlog numbers of ~3300, they will have to make $6 million an aircraft to cover the grounding costs.

          Your number of 4000 orders gets them down to $5 million each.

          IMO Boeing will not break even on the Max, nor will it break even on the 787, which is still down some $19 billion.

  10. Curious how Leeham arrives at a ROM of 600 airplanes for the program when the replacement market is so large.

    The 747-400 had a production run of 694 airframes. The 777-300ER had a production run of 838 airframes, with the 777F adding on another 234 units. And the A380 had a production run of 243-251 units. So this is something like 2000 airframes that would need to be replaced and this does not account for growth in air travel.

    I understand the argument for fragmentation resulting in more large twins being sold, e.g. 787-9, 787-10. And competition from Airbus with the A350. But it does seem that capacity limited airports and the poor economics of four-engine aircraft would favor the very-large twin engine airplanes.

    Let’s also not forget that airlines will need to be pressed to provide ever increasing fuel efficiency to meet committed CO2 emission targets, which would favor highly efficient large twins. I doubt that models have accounted for this as yet.

    Of course, this is an argument that can’t be proved or disproved in the short-term but only 5-10 years in the future.

    • Jeff i like your analysis.
      There are about 1000 B787 in the air, most of them B789. And about 400 A350, most of them A359.
      Many of these planes already replaced the B744s. Most of the B744s were ordered during the 90ies, they are over 20 years old now and already out.
      The B777f is another plane, for now the B777x is an orphan, the B779.
      I don’t know the status of the B778 nor if Boeing will bring a F version.
      It’s like with the A338, doesn’t play a huge role in the overall market.

      The sweet spot is the B789 and A359, together they have about 1600 orders, that’s a lot.

      The demand for the B777x is way lower, as plenty of the large planes are already replaced by B789 and A359.
      And any upgrade to the A35k in terms of engine or wing will further harm the B779, as it offers a 15t lighter opponent with comparable capabilities.
      And then there’s Corona – with long haul travel harmed already it’s kind of a nightmare to have a brand new VLA now.
      Nobody needs this plane with so many young used twins available and low demand till about 2024/25.
      By then, a re-engine of the B787 or A350 might be already announced, they are up on the list in the 2nd half of the 20ties.

  11. One thing a lot of people miss is, the efficiency of the 777X is VERY GOOD. And this is what I’m hearing off the program (rumours of course so we have to wait). Secondly, Boeing realised that the VLA market was not worth a clean sheet (unlike Airbus and you know what). So the 777X came in. When did the US carriers order the 300ER? I’m sorry it is not telling of anything. American Airlines ordered the 777 in 2011. Which of 6 years after EIS. So? The 350-1000 is struggling to break 200 orders because it’s a Clean sheet VLA which makes it a very expensive aircraft to build, making the pricing uncompetitive for starters. Also the 300ER did not break 200 orders before EIS and look at how that ended up. Before we start saying anything. Let’s see how the aircraft performs. MOST 300ERs are still young. How many people are ordering wide bodies anyway? There was a huge order rally 2010-2015. But of course if the 777X does not end up like the 380 people won’t rest.

    • “350-1000 is struggling to break 200 orders because it’s a Clean sheet VLA which makes it a very expensive aircraft to build,”

      Err no , its a small change but higher weight derivative of the A350-900 which has passed the 750 orders mark

      In 2013 United announced 35 orders and conversions for A350-1000, Boeing made sure that never happened and no surprise thats when 777-300ER arrived for the first time a few years later instead.

        • This source was from over 6 months ago. Since then Bloomberg learnt that the 787 has an avalanche rolling down.
          There is no war when Boeing can’t deliver 787.

        • Whether Airbus has a cost issue on recurring costs is of far less consequence than the enormous costs already incurred on the B787 programme that still need to be amortised. Given the slow down in orders and build rates the B787 breakeven must be pushing towards 2,000. The A350 came in around budget, as always they still need to get down the curve on cost but that is more a group wide issue in Airbus and cost control/reduction. Looking at the B787 programme there must be some question as to the repeated question marks re quality, especially given they cannot offer a ‘Seattle build’ going forward

    • The B779 is a very efficient aircraft – if filled. So is the A380.

      But the load is the problem.

  12. Airbus fanboys are having a good day dissing on Boeing. Let me remind everybody that the A350-1000 has more than 100 less order than the 777x and has been on the market since 2006. It is a two engine aircraft and not a quad, it is 15 inches wider than the XWB, it has 15 percent more floor space than the -1000 and it uses less fuel than the 777-300er while carrying more passengers and cargo. Keep dreaming Kessje. British airways was already operating the XWB when they bought the 777x. The GE9X is beating spec from my sources. Nobody is ordering any large aircraft people.

    • A350-1000s are actually flying.
      777Xs are doing nothing other than getting delayed and deferred.

      And remember: “A full A350-1000 weighs less than an empty 777-900″…and the A350 has a lower pricetag too 😏

      • Per Wikipedia a fully loaded (MZFW) A350-1000 weighs 492000 lb or 223168 kg:
        OEW = 342000 lb / 155129 kg
        MPLD = 150000 lb / 68039 kg
        Wikipedia claims the 777-900 OEW = 390000 lb / 176901 kg.

    • https://mobile.twitter.com/jonostrower/status/1343610653081128960

      Has Corporate Boeing learnt its lesson?? Nope. On the contrary, the C-Suite thought it’s “Mission Accomplished”, no different than the 43rd POTUS.

      “In short, the 787 was sold to airlines for half as much as it probably should’ve been and cost 400% more to manufacture than Boeing expected.”

      “The record production rates were there to satisfy demand, but also were the only way to make the program profitable and keep the suppliers in line. It also gave us the massive bursting bubble once COVID-19 arrived.”

    • I’m kinda not too sure what you’re trying to get at. You do realise that there are TWO variants of the A350, right? A -900 & the -1000.

      They have a total order book of 930 firm orders, with 398 delivered.

      The entire 777X line HAD a firm order book of 309, but Lufthansa is chopping it’s order for 20 to 6 & Etihad is taking only 6 of it’s order of 25.
      (I can provide links)

      That’s 276 firm orders, both 777X variants. For the entire line.

      930 versus 276. Which number would you rather be producing?

      And you’re right – nobody is ordering wide body aircraft. Which means that neither number is due to go higher anytime soon.

      So 276. Wanna tell us how successful the 777X program is again?

        • And also the fact that Cathay would like to dump its order.
          The same probably applies to SIA and BA, both of which needed heavy state aid, and both of which already have A350s as alternatives to fulfill their needs for the coming years.
          Qatar also probably wouldn’t shed a tear if its order was nixed: it’s delighted with it’s A350-1000s, and could just order more.

    • “”A350-1000 has more than 100 less order than the 777x and has been on the market since 2006. It is 15 inches wider than the XWB, it has 15 percent more floor space than the -1000″”

      Comparabel to the A350-1000 cabin size is the 777-8, which IIRC has 30 orders from Emirates, which might be already cancelled, Boeing is hiding the data, guess why.
      Boeing’s Airport Planning pdf is only showing 777-9.

      777-9 cabin size is less than 13% bigger than A350-1000 but that doesn’t tell much. 787 9-abreast seating (which is a pain) has wider seats than 777-9 10-abreast seating. 777-9 cabin is 0.35m (13.8 inch) wider than A350, but not a full seat wider.

      A350 has 4 door pairs, 777-9 has 5, this makes the cabin less than 11% bigger than the A350-1000, but the 777-9 is more than 21t heavier.
      If 11% cabin size takes 21t, 100% equals 191t, but the A350-1000 has only 155t OEW.

      I wonder who designed the 777-9 because it can’t compete.
      Great if folding wings are not a problem, but don’t restrict them to 71.75m wingspan, it’s not good enough to compete.

  13. The US carriers have been ordering plenty of 787s, A350s and A330neos in the past few years, but no interest in the 777X during this spending spree. When they last purchased legacy 777s, they didn’t have as much choice as regards new airframes. Ordering 777Xs in the future would represent a step backward in technology, and unnecessary fleet complication.

  14. Boeing’s stable of old horses 737 1965 design 777 1990 design 787 2005 design. And the west makes fun of Comac with new C919 (e.g. aluminum lithium) fuselage)
    Two facts…
    Boeing’s and Airbus’s 20 year forecast…40% of commercial aircraft delivered to Southeast Asia
    The United States population is equivalent to 4.25% of the total world population…aka US hay day is over in the commercial aircraft world
    Ps when did China place its last order for Boeing aircraft? 2017! The Max CAAC certification is the pawn to be played until US sanctions on China commercial aircraft industry is lifted

  15. This anti USA by some of you are so funny. If USA decided to not supply Airbus anymore engines for China delivery how many aircraft will be delivered to China. Be careful what you wish for because what happened to Iran can be applied to any adversary. Bottom line is USA is the only country with a full fledged aerospace industries because the greatest purchaser is Uncle Sam. France is number two.

    • A350 is RR
      A320 is french production cfm.

      Gtf probably has less us content than you think.
      Sanctions, embargoes are weapons that blunt easily.

  16. I say it’s Boeings Karma. They tried everything to kill the A330neo – claimed it’s dead on arrival. Now they have the B777x.
    The B778 already deferred till oblivion, let’s see if it will be built. Might pull out as a freighter, Boeing is good with that, the engine provides plenty of reserves for. I can see the B778 being a successful freighter.

    And an order base that’s as shaky as the A380s was. Emirates already took less. Though the plane is made to their specs.
    Qatar might rethink when Al Baker is gone. Etihads order is basically gone.
    LH said they rather would take less and more A359.
    Cathay doesn’t want its anymore.
    It only leaves BA, SIA, ANA, LH as really save orders, for 80, and then Qatar & Emirates.
    The folding wing is more off a gimmick to save costs at the airports, how long will they watch this game and charge B777x more?

    The B777x orders are about the same number as the A330neo, with a huge difference: Boeing has a 6bn $ bill on the X, while Airbus has about a 2 bn. $ bill on the Neo.

    Boeing needs all kinds of tricks – it already has access to the GE engine exclusively, which really is an issue for the A35k and a potential stretch with RR struggling.
    They squeeze in 10 abreast, which is why I don’t fly B777.
    They need these tricks, to somehow make it work efficiency wise.

    What I don’t understand is Boeings strategy. They had everything in place.
    They had it figured out the right way.
    They knew the A380 was the wrong way, and they got the new engine technology which Airbus didn’t get.
    They had the B787 in the sweet spot.
    Why did they build the B748 and after its failure did go with the B77x as another stretch?

    They had it right and did go down the road, then turned around and went back in the wrong direction of VLA.

    If you calculate, you come to about 250 – 280 save orders. Not enough to recover a 6 bn. $ dev. cost. Further delay might bring further writeoffs.

    I don’t want to judge the B777x to early, but a winner looks different to me.
    If Airbus can bring the A350 with the new generation of RRs ultrafans end of this decade, Boeing might have a problem with the B777x EIS pushed to 2022 already.
    Long haul demand is not expected to recover quickly, so might be 2025 till airlines really need VLA, maybe Airbus already has an A350neo as an idea.
    The B779 might end up in a pretty bad situation.

    • I hate when people talk RUBBISH. Folding wingtips are a gimmick? Do you actually know anything about aviation? Please don’t open your mouth if you haven’t done any research. Boeing did not “ensure” the 330neo was dead on arrival. Boeing built a super efficient clean sheet and Airbus built a mediocre ass aircraft

      • Compare numbers: 787 vs A330neo : see much difference?

        787 is gobs of over the top PR.

      • The A330neo keeps the B787 honest on price. It will continue to pick up marginal orders but critically it forces a price war for each B787 sold. The B777x does something similar for the A35k and the B78k on the A559.

        The question now for twin aisle in particular is whether Airbus and Boeing should be focusing less on competition and more on generating profit. As such all of the more marginal programs are at risk of being cut.

        Regarding the B777x the fundamental advantage is in the engine being a half generation newer, this will be addressed relatively soon with a A350neo and that is what makes the B777x potentially a dead duck in the medium term.

  17. “”Boeing built a super efficient clean sheet and Airbus built””

    The super efficiency is proven now with a fuselage which doesn’t meet specs, so much that planes are grounded and all planes are not checked yet.
    I want to see how Boeing is fixing this, maybe they can’t, maybe the fuselage needs new certs. Good Luck with that.
    And the fuselage is only one issue, there might be many more to come if Boeing never did QC.
    Beside that, the 787 will never earn a Cent.

    Airbus built great wings the 787 can’t beat.
    There is no competition for the 247t A330neo.

  18. Tbe A350-1000 is the closest thing to the -300ER which is a fantastic plane. Ultimately it will sell. It can also be stretched to the 777-9 capacity and still beat in in range.

    Boeing’s best bet is to increase the range of the 787-10 to match and replace the 777. Think Air New Zealand who bought the 787-10 to replace the 777. It was said that that the 787-10 could be “upgraded” to reach the west coast of the USA. Maybe that’s where this is going.

    The 777X is too big and heavy for the future. It is yesterday’s news on arrival.

    • US West coast is fine for Air NZ, I think they wanted to reach Vancouver as well which needed a ‘tweak’ ( or less passengers)

  19. 777-300er cabin size is 13 percent bigger than A350-1000. Also Lufthansa original order was 34 order and commitment. 20 firm and 14 options . Boeing can only count firm due to USA law. The order was not reduce to 6. Just ask Mr Hamilton .

  20. Show me how the xwb can do 18 inches with a 2 inch arm rest. It is only possible because they reduce the armrest to 1.5 inch. The 777-300er and 777X is calculated with 2 inch armrest. I may be in trouble for bringing all this facts out. Airbus fans do not like facts. The a330 is the more comfortable aircraft.

    • Leon
      The A339 is a competent and capable aircraft without comparing it to the B789. There is no version of the A339 currently in operation that can fly nonstop from KSFO or KLAX to YSSY or YMML with the same payload of the B789. True it can do it via the NOPAC and a fuel stop.
      Please don’t refer me back to the marketing information in Airways magazine.
      Unless you have access to the complete engineering aero performance loads for both aircraft with RR engines, or access to a flight planning system with both loads, you cannot compare them.
      And comparing them is not as simple as it may sound. The A339 has a M82-M83 wing, whereas the B789 has a M85 wing. Moreover each aircraft will have different optimum climb schedules, descent schedules, and cruise cutoff tables.
      Compare the A339 to the A332 or A333 for a more meaningful comparison. To repeat myself the A339 is a competent and capable aircraft without comparing it to the B789 (or B788 for that matter).

      • Steve,

        tell me the range, it’s much easier.
        I know planes have different Mach numbers, but it depends which speed pilots are choosing.
        Much infos can be found in payload-range curves. You don’t need to calculate with wind like Bjorn is doing to disguise the performance.
        Even wrong payload-range curves can be recognized. Boeing has some, like many other garbage data based on assumptions of Boeing PR guys.
        Sure there are many sectors where the 787-9 has more payload, but the A330neo is not designed for it. For payload the 787 has no chance vs A350. The 787-9 can’t beat the old 777-200ER too, I already posted it here. And still the A330-900 can carry more payload than the 787-9 from 8700nm on.
        A330neo is very special, with great wings and stabilizer with fuel tanks. To trim the 787 you turn the stab with additional drag. Not needed on the A330, you trim with the fuel weight.
        And the A330neo has other advantages even Bjorn doesn’t know or is hiding because he isn’t using these advantages.
        There is a reason when some airlines say that the A330neo is the best plane.

        • Leon
          Did you understand anything I wrote? If you are accusing Bjorn of cooking or falsifying data, prove it. Making argumentum ad hominems about the A339’s “special wing” or greater range than the B789 over a certain distance is not supported by any aero performance data.
          Rather it is a reflection of your bias. You owe Bjorn an apology.

          • Steve,

            just check the payload-range curves. These are Boeing’s and Airbus’ own data.
            Seems your aero performance data is garbage.
            According to Boeing the 787-9 can’t reach 9500nm.
            According to Airbus the A330-900 is still flying 9500nm with 45 pax.
            I’m using 100kg per pax always.

            Scott explained few months ago how many pax LNA is using for calculations.
            I checked this and found mistakes or lets say LNA is cherry picking big time.

            LNA is calculating with 10-abreast seating on the whole fuselage when most airlines are using 3 or 4 class cabin configurations, so the 10-abreast sector is only 60% or even less of the whole fuselage.

            LNA is calculating with the same seat pitch for 10- and 9-abreast configurations. Including in this seat pitch for calculations is space for lavatories and galleys. Since a 10-abreast seat row has 11% more pax than a 9-abreast seat row, the 10-abreast calculation should calculate with a bigger seat pitch because 11% more lavatories and galleys are needed. But LNA is comparing with the same seat pitch giving the A350-1000 an 11% disadvantage.

            The 777-9 has 5 door pairs, the A350-1000 has 4. Including in the seat pitch for calculations is space for doors too. But LNA is not recognizing the different amount of doors in calculations. LNA is calculating as if the doors were the same giving the 777-9 and additional seat row with 10 pax in their calculations.

            I understand that Boeing planes have poor performance, they are not designed for best performance. Boeing is using cheap solutions to earn more money, a reason why Boeing is hiding data.
            I can understand that LNA makes comparisons with rose colored glasses and wants to do some Boeing PR. I know when there is intention and love to let Boeing look good that mistakes can be made and realities can be forgotten, but too much is too much. Only fools will take them serious.
            I hope that LNA correct their mistakes.

          • @Leon, I don’t know what you’re reading, but it’s not LNA. Your description is completely wrong.

            You are a free reader. If you want to hire our consulting side and pay a minimum of $10,000, we’ll educate you on how our proprietary analysis works.


          • Scott,

            no thanks,
            you told me already that LNA is calculating with wind. Wind is not necessary when comparing fuel burn. Fuel burn is measured in kg per hour, it doesn’t matter if there is headwind or tailwind, one hour is an hour with wind or without.

            I think we should clear this up. Since you don’t remember, you said that LNA is comparing the 777-9 with 425 seats, the 777-300ER with 408 seats and the A350-1000 with 365 seats. Am I right?

          • @Leon: That’s only part of the factors we consider. We don’t reveal the details of our analysis to freebies.

          • Of course I’m interested in seat counts too, I did calculations to compare planes some time ago.
            When Scott mentioned the 425 seats 777-9, the 408 seats 777-300ER and only 365 seats for the A350-1000 LNA is using for calculations, I thought it’s very strange. So I tried to find out how LNA comes to these results.
            For calculations it is needed to know the cabin length. Airbus is sharing it, Boeing is hiding it, so the easiest way is the distance between the first and last doors, it can be found in Airport Planning pdf.
            5397cm 777-9
            5184cm 777-300ER
            5145cm A350-1000
            How many seat rows can be used between the first and last doors. In the seat pitch should be included space for lavatories and galleys. I tried 50 inch seat pitch which is exactly 127cm and multiplicated it with 10- and 9-abreast.
            5397cm / 127cm x 10ab = 424.96 seats 777-9
            5184cm / 127cm x 10ab = 408.19 seats 777-300
            5145cm / 127cm x 9ab = 364.61 seats A350-1000
            Exactly Scott’s numbers, I couldn’t believe it.
            All 3 planes are using the same amount of lavatories and galleys per seat row. If this amount is good for the A350, there is one pax on each row of the 777-9 and 777 who can’t get food and can’t visit lavatories, giving the 777-9 and 777 an 11% (10/9) advantage over the A350.
            How to fix this mistake. LNA is using 50 inch pitch and included in this pitch are also parts of the middle doors.
            If using 35 inch as an average seat pitch including parts for the middle doors then there are 15 inch for lavatories and galleys.
            15inch x 9ab / 10ab = 13.5inch
            35inch + 13.5inch = 48.5inch = 123,19cm
            The better calculation is
            5397cm / 127cm x 10ab = 424.96 seats 777-9
            5184cm / 127cm x 10ab = 408.19 seats 777-300
            5145cm / 123.19cm x 9ab = 375.88 seats A350-1000
            Now every pax has the same amount of lavatories and galleys.
            I mentioned the middle doors, but both 777X and 777 have 3 middle doors, A350 only 2 middle doors.
            To correct this I take away one seat row for 777X and 777.
            424.96seats – 10seats = 414.96 seats 777-9
            408.19seats -10seats = 398.19 seats 777-300
            375.88 seats A350-1000
            Looks much better. But the whole cabin with 10-abreast? Who is using single class on big widebodies?
            To make it easy, only for this comparison I take away one seat per row on 40% of the 777X and 777 seat rows to keep it equal to the A350.
            41.496rows x 0.4 = 16.60 rows 777-9
            39.819rows x 0.4 = 15.93 rows 777-300ER
            414.96seats – 16.60seats = 398.36 seats 777-9
            398.19seats – 15.93seats = 382.26 seats 777-300
            375.88 seats A350-1000
            This looks much better, not perfect I know, but much better.
            The 777-9 with 22.48 more seats than the A350-1000 instead of 60 seats LNA is using for calculations.
            The 777-300ER with 6.38 more seats than the A350-1000 instead of 43 seats LNA is using for calculations.

      • @Steve

        Apparently Corporate Boeing flooded the market (hopelessly without a clue how expensive it was to build the jet), squandered its competitive advantage and practically (almost) gave away 45 787.

        • Pedro
          I don’t dispute the many mistakes BCA made that you point out. My only concern is that some of the Airbus apologists conflate BCA’s mistakes that you list with the aircraft’s aero performance capabilities.

    • Airlines are choosing the seats.
      Cabin width:
      5.96m 777X
      5.86m 777
      5.61m A350
      Now without 2 aisles 0.5m each:
      4.96m / 10-abreast = 0.496m 777X
      4.86m / 10-abreast = 0.486m 777
      4.61m / 9-abreast = 0.512m A350
      Sure the A330 is a great plane.
      4.26m / 8-abreast = 0.5325m A330neo

      • Leon
        The A339 aero performance data to which I made reference is a complete engineering aero performance load furnished by Airbus to all flight planning vendors and airlines flying the A339.

        • Then not all data is loaded. Of course no normal airline would fly the A330-900 with 45 pax. Makes me think about Boeing’s MAX simulator load, they didn’t include all too.
          But A330 are used for other missions without much payload too, so it makes sense that Airbus shows the complete payload-range curve.
          As I said, your performance data is garbage because it’s not complete. What else is left in your data you rely on.
          I think we talked about the A330neo before and you forgot about the capabilities of the 251t version which was announced years ago and Bjorn already mentioned the A330neo capabilities you said were not possible.
          There are many A330-900 versions, a 230t version too with different capabilities, but that doesn’t mean that all A330-900 are the same.

          I told you my sources, they are available for everyone on Boeing and Airbus websites.

          • Leon
            The Airbus web site does not show “payload-range curves” from ISA-20 through ISA+40 for the A339 on its web site. It does list the max range as 13334 km or 7200 nm.

          • Steve,

            try to download the Airport Planning pdf.
            You might find ISA curves.
            To compare payload-range it’s enough to use ISA values.
            Everybody can imagine the tendency of hot and high conditions.

  21. Recovery in 2021? What recovery??

    BA Bristish Airways axes 15 long-haul routes

    Routes to cities in North America such as Pittsburgh, Calgary and Charleston have gone, alongside flights to Seoul, Kuala Lumpur and Osaka.

    The Seychelles, a popular winter holiday destination, has also been removed.

    Muscat, Jeddah and Abu Dhabi routes are axed, and BA will also temporarily suspend flights to Sydney, Bangkok and San Jose during the summer of 2021.

  22. David,

    according to Boeing, Emirates made the first 777X order in November 2011.
    Emirates wanted to change to 787 but Boeing can’t deliver. The 787 fuselage might need new certification.
    By time Boeing will need to pay back pre delivery payments, money they don’t have.
    Seems Boeing is getting a magic Karma load they deserve.

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