Emirates Airline reported switching orders from 777-8 to 777-9

Boeing unveiled a new order for 16 777X jets in June, but the Middle East airline’s aircraft total hasn’t changed

The Boeing 777-8 will be able to carry 395 passengers over a distance of up to 8,745 nautical miles (16,190 km), practically the distance that separates New York from Sydney, Australia.

With its spacious cabin and comfort features brought over from the smaller 787 Dreamliner, the widebody appears to be an attractive option for airlines, however, there is almost no interest in the twin-engine jet.

And of the two customers, only Etihad Airlines would remain. According to Aviation Week, Emirates, the launch customer of the 777X ten years ago, gave up on the 777-8 version, exchanging 16 orders for the same number of aircraft of the 777-9, with greater capacity but less range.

The information emerged last week when Boeing updated its backlog with June data. The Dubai-based carrier is said to have ordered 16 777X jets, but it is unclear what these are as the US planemaker does not split the orders between the 777-8, 777-9 and the 777-8F cargo variant.

The reason the new order was associated with a trade-in is that in total, Emirates still has 115 orders for the 777X family.

Emirates 777-8, 777-9 and 787 jets (Boeing)

Last in line

On previous occasions, the airline’s president, Tim Clark, had already suggested that Emirates was considering abandoning the 777-8 after Boeing froze the program.

In the midst of a turbulent phase, the aircraft manufacturer has been making an effort to certify its new planes such as the 737 MAX 7 and MAX 10 and also the 777-9, which has four test aircraft in flight.

In the meantime, Boeing decided to launch the 777-8F, a cargo version that will replace the 777F from 2028. As a result, the passenger 777-8 was in the background, reinforced by the lack of orders.

Despite this, Boeing reaffirms that the 777-8 is still in planning, but its entry into service should not occur before the end of the decade.

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Even so, new customers will have to be found to justify its development, as not even a prototype has been assembled so far.

If it is confirmed that Emirates left the 777-8 aside, there would only be eight aircraft with firm orders from Etihad, very little for such an expensive project.


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