Earlier last month, it was announced Emirates would be the first carrier to receive the new Boeing 777X – a successor to the highly successful wide-body 777 aircraft -, and today it was reported that the Gulf Carrier will now begin testing the new aircraft at it’s Dubai Hub, as early as August 2020.
Why the testing?
Emirates unveiled plans to ‘rigorously test’ the Boeing 777X, following recent fatal incidents regarding Boeing’s last newest type, the 737 MAX. Emirates President, Tim Clark, said:
I want one aircraft to go through hell on Earth, to make sure it all works… This is going to be a proper certification programme
The comments from Clark, come following suggestions from Boeing to add more airframes to the test programme, which Emirates was strongly against. Clark specified that testing would take place at the carrier’s hub in Dubai, to ensure “the GE Engine will do all the things they say it’ll do, in the kind of conditions we operate over here”, with the type arriving in the heart of the Dubai summer period – some of the harshest temperatures known on Earth.
On top of the caution being taken due to the MAX, extra steps are also being taken due to the integrity of the 777X Programme. Earlier this year, there were notable problems with the GE9x Engines that power the aircraft, as well as speculation regarding the quality of the aircraft’s engineering. Due to these factors, it is understandable that Emirates are taking these precautionary steps and ensuing the new type is testing with the highest levels of rigour.
Emirate’s Plans for the 777X
Unfortunately the carrier receiving the type has not been smooth flight – in fact, the total opposite. It was announced today at the Dubai Airshow, that the carrier would convert 30 out of 150 total orders for the 777X, to the 787-9 type instead; This move follows on from the delay to 777X deliveries due to the MAX groundings, which pushed back initial delivery from 2020 to 2021. Originally, 2020 was set aside for delivery of the type and entry into service, but now has become the year of testing following delays. However the airline has remained positive saying:
We are also pleased to reaffirm our commitment to the Boeing 777X programme, and look forward to it’s entry into service.
Once certified, the 777X will be part of a fleet renovation for the airline, replacing ageing types, but also expanding the fleet, as the airline rapidly expands it’s long-haul route map. The move also comes amidst plans to broaden the type operated by the carrier, allowing maximum suitability of aircraft assigned to routes.
So what are your thoughts on the 777X and Boeing? Are you looking forward to the entry into service?