Next year, Emirates, a Dubai-based airline, will get Boeing’s new 777X for testing flights. The announcement comes with a combined decision by the engine supplier, General Electric (GE), and the aircraft manufacturer to let Emirates carry out a crucial phase of the 777X program’s advancement.
Boeing is now working with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to certify the 777X. During a Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference in early June 2023, Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun stated that there was a “big hanging issue” due to the FAA and EASA’s disagreement “on the certification principles and design principles that were embedded.”
The proposal was confirmed by company executives who were present at a Boeing event that was in line with the Paris Air Show. Tim Clark, the CEO and president of Emirates, has shown an increasing lack of confidence in the program’s development. Due to the numerous technical and legal difficulties that have caused delays.
The first 777X aircraft was initially expected to arrive at Emirates as early as December 2019. Boeing currently anticipates making the first delivery in 2025. Clark has expressed worry that the delivery date may be further delayed to 2026. Emirates is a prominent customer for the programme with its existing order for 115 Boeing 777X planes.
The 777X’s continued flight testing and the MAX’s re-certification are both happening at the same time. This led the FAA to insist on a thorough assessment of the work that has been done thus far. Consequently adding to the certification timeline’s delays.
A Boeing 777-9 from the Emirates will be sent to the Middle East for two months in the summer of 2024 in order to solve these concerns. Tim Clark is hoping for assurance from this route-proving exercise and relief from his concerns about the aircraft’s capability. During this testing phase, Boeing pilots will operate the aircraft.