Boeing will debut its problem-plagued next-generation 777X at the Dubai Air Show which is due to take place from the 14th to 18th November 2021. The event, which will take place at Dubai’s massive World Central airport, is the first mass-gathering air show since the start of the pandemic.
The American aircraft manufacturer will be hoping to show off the largest and most fuel-efficient twin-engine commercial jet ever but a row with launch customer Emirates over the much-delayed jet could overshadow its presence at the air show.
Emirates has ordered a total of 126 Boeing 777X aircraft but the Dubai-based carrier was meant to start taking delivery of the yet to be certified planes in 2020. Emirates’ president Sir Tim Clark pessimistically doesn’t think the airline will now take delivery of its first 777X until 2024 at the earliest.
In recent weeks, Sir Tim has lashed out at Boeing on several occasions and has said that he’ll be using the Dubai Air Show as an opportunity to “have another grown-up conversation” with Boeing over the aircraft.
Hit with delay upon delay, the 777X project is still a long way off from completion, Boeing didn’t even complete the first successful test flight of the 777X until January 2020 and now faces intense scrutiny from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) following the 737MAX scandal.
The 777X currently has two variants known as the 777-8 and 777-9. Emirates has so far placed the largest order with Boeing, the majority of which will be the longer 777-9, along with 25 longer-range but smaller capacity 777-8 aircraft.
Emirates struck its original deal with Boeing in 2013 but downsized the order slightly in 2019 by exercising options to convert some 777X in 787 Dreamliners. The airline isn’t expected to start receiving the 787’s until May 2023, while a separate order for Airbus A350’s isn’t expected to start being filled until 2023 as well.
The airline will take delivery of its last A380 superjumbo before the end of this year, while deliveries of the older generation 777-300 ended in 2018.
The 777-9 on show at the Dubai Air Show will take part in the airshow’s flying program and appear in the static display.