According to Boeing’s orders and deliveries book through May 2019, 150 orders for the new 777X jet were placed by Emirates Airways on July 8, 2014, and are still waiting for delivery. However, rumors in the media have surfaced about the possible cancellation of the order by Emirates. Could the airline be considering another aircraft from Boeing’s rival Airbus?
Emirates CEO, Tim Clark, said the cancellation of the A380 program by Airbus in February 2019, pushed the company to rethink its 777X purchase, as it is stated in Seattletimes. In 2018, another Gulf airline, Etihad Airways, was also considering to cancel or delay its order of the Boeing jets. The plane maker’s report indicates that 25 of Etihad’s orders remain unfilled since 2013.
Another problem revolves around the entry into service date of the 777X. It was recently revealed that Boeing will have to delay the first flight of the new jet until autumn 2019, due to problems with its GE9X engine, possibly impacting the jetliner’s delivery and entry into service schedule. If Emirates decides to cancel its 777X order it would be another blow to the U.S. manufacturer, already dealing with the 737 MAX crisis.
Emirates’ eyes could now turn to Airbus A350XWB, which is a direct competitor to the Boeing 777X in the long-range wide-body market. The A350XWB entered service with launch customer Qatar Airways in 2015. As for Emirates, the airline currently operates 158 Boeing 777 jets and 110 Airbus A380s.