The European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) Executive Director Patrick Ky has indicated that the certification progress of the Boeing 777X continues to progress, despite initial disagreements between the manufacturer and the authority.
In an interview with Aviation Week, Ky suggested that while the agency found several issues where it and Boeing disagreed, solutions had since been found, allowing certification of the 777X to progress. The main disagreement, according to sources familiar with the matter and cited by Aviation Week, was that the manufacturer and EASA conflicted over the aircraft’s flight control system’s exposure to potential failures following but not limited to lighting strikes, maintenance lapses or software errors.
Boeing introduced the 777X as the successor to its best-selling wide-body aircraft, the 777, during the Dubai Airshow in November 2013, where it secured 250 orders and commitments from Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, and Lufthansa. Two months prior, the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) indicated that Lufthansa had selected the aircraft “for its future long-haul fleet”, targeting an entry-into-service date “around the end of the decade”.
However, as issues have continued to mount, resulting in numerous delays, the OEM confirmed in April 2022 that the 777X would be delivered in 2025. Most recently, Boeing had to suspend flight testing of the aircraft for two months following an issue with its engine, the General Electric (GE) GE9X.
The Boeing 777X first flew in January 2020. In total, Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries data as of February 28, 2023, shows a total of 394 of orders for the wide-body jets, including the freighter version, the 777-8 Freighter.