The expected inaugural flight of the Boeing 777X is scheduled for June 26, according to Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline, the model’s launch customer.
At a press conference in Seoul during the IATA (International Air Transport Association) conference, Clark revealed the date that has not yet been confirmed by Boeing.
The intention to make the first flight of the largest twin-engine commercial jet in history was expected by the end of June, according to Reuters, indicating sources from the manufacturer.
The new long haul jet has a delayed schedule but Boeing still plans to put the 777-9X into service by 2020. However, difficulties with the new GE9X engines and the wings delayed development plans.
A sign that the new jet is close to the first flight occurred on May 30 when one of the two prototypes was seen testing its engines for the first time.
More problems with the 737 MAX
Sir Tim Clark also commented on the problems that Boeing is experiencing with the grounding of the 737 MAX. According to the president of Emirates, the lack of cooperation between the civil aviation agencies of the US, Canada, Europe and China can push the return of the 737 MAX to the operation probably by 2020 – “If it’s in the air by Christmas I’ll be surprised,” said Clark.
On the same day, the FAA revealed that at least 300 Boeing 737s of the NG and MAX models may have been assembled with defective components. The federal agency has said it will ask Boeing to change leading edge slat tracks that do not meet the requirements for durability and strength. The planes involved are 133 737 NG and 179 MAX.
Finally, the Azerbaijan airline AZAL canceled a $ 1 billion contract for the purchase of 10 Boeing 737 MAXs. The company claimed “safety reasons” – the US manufacturer did not receive any orders for commercial airplanes in April.