As the relationship between Emirates and aircraft manufacturers keeps on getting spicier and spicier, the airlines’ president, Tim Clark, has provided an update on his expectations about Boeing’s 777X delivery timeline. Just a month ago, on September 6, 2019, Clark threw shade towards Airbus and Boeing for their lackluster reliability on new aircraft.

While speaking at The Aviation Show MEASA 2019 on October 14, 2019, Emirates’ president once again took a dig at a new aircraft program – this time it was the 777X. By the end of 2020, Emirates expected to have eight of them, according to Clark.

“Now it doesn’t look like we will have any”, he added.

The last update Boeing provided on the 777X program was when the manufacturer announced its biggest quarterly loss on July 24, 2019. The company was still hopeful to fit into the timeline of delivering the first 777X to Emirates in 2020. However, in a statement Boeing warned there was a “significant” risk to that schedule due to the challenges with the GE9X engines. 

And the challenges are pretty significant. According to reports, General Electric is in the process of redesigning a component on the GE9X – a stator vane in the second stage of the high-pressure compressor.

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GE Aviation revealed on June 17, 2019, that it is redesigning a part for the in-development GE9X engine set to power the Boeing 777X after an issue with the component was detected during recent testing. The upgrades mean certification of the engine is unlikely to take place until Autumn 2019 and will delay the maiden flight of the 777X by “several months” as the necessary fixes are applied.
 

The power plant on the newest Triple Seven is not the only issue Boeing is facing – as the Federal Aviation Administration was certifying the aircraft, during load tests to a static frame of the 777X, a cargo door blew wide open. On September 10, 2019, Boeing responded to the reports, stating that the company did not expect that this would have a significant impact on the design or the test schedule of the aircraft.

Clark’s optimism about the 777X program seems to be diminishing – during a media briefing event in September 2019, he was already skeptical about Boeing sticking to its initial promise to deliver the aircraft in June 2020. Together with the folding-wingtip aircraft, Emirates expected to introduce Premium Economy to its cabin offering. In total, the launch customer of 777X placed an order for 150 aircraft during Dubai Air Show in 2013.

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It seems like the delays of the 777X will not only pushback the initial delivery timeline, as Emirates' Clark indicated that the introduction of the premium economy class will also be delayed: