A lot of the attention in the widebody market has been on the record-setting pace of orders for the 787 Dreamliner.
That’s to be expected.
But quietly, the 777 has just reached its own record milestone – achieving 1,000 orders sooner than any other twin-aisle airplane has done. Not only that, we’ve also reached 100 orders for 777s for the year. This is an airplane that just gets better over time.
Celebrating yet another milestone, this 777-200ER is the 3,000th widebody airplane to be delivered from our Everett factory. The new Korean Airlines jet wowed the crowds as it flew over the course at the “Boeing Classic” golf tournament last week outside Seattle.
Since January 2005, the 777 program has had 16 new customers and 330 orders. That’s one third of the total orders for the program since launch. The 777 is truly at the top of its game.
Some people have been wondering about the future of the 777. I think it’s simple. And this is what I say when I’m asked: The 777 is the most advanced airplane flying today.
It bears reminding that the 777 has changed and adapted to the marketplace since its introduction. We’ve continuously improved its capabilities. And when you look at the way the 777 couples with the 787 - and provides superior market coverage - I think we’re very well positioned going
As we’ve always done with the 777, we’ll continue to consider opportunities for further improvements to its performance. We’re confident that whatever competition might come its way in the future, we’ll be ready to meet it.
Since the 777’s entry into service, we’ve continued to invest in technology. The 777-300 and 777-300ER offer 6% lower seat-mile costs compared to their predecessors. The 777-200LR increased the range of the family by an additional 7,800 km (4,200 nmi) over the 777-200. And the 777-300ER offers more revenue opportunities – an additional 60 passengers and 15 tonnes (17 tons) more structural payload compared to the 777-200.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The reason this airplane family has been and continues to be successful is that we started with the right product strategy. That strategy led to the development of an efficient, twin-engine airplane capable of making long-distance point-to-point travel possible.
In its 12 years in service the 777 has proven to be one of the most reliable, efficient, and passenger-pleasing airplanes to serve the long-haul market.
Some statistics about the 777 fleet:
- Flown 7 billion nautical miles, enough to circle the world 322,000 times
- Carried more than 778 million passengers
- Logged 14.5 million flight hours on more than 3 million flights
We designed the 777 with one of the most spacious cabin interiors for a twin-aisle airplane. That allowed us to create a passenger-pleasing interior that has helped the 777 become the preferred airplane among travelers.
From there we kept improving and growing. We added two new, longer range 777s – the 777-300ER and 777-200LR – to provide airlines greater range and capability to fly the type of long-haul nonstop routes passengers want. Both airplanes have more range and payload capability than previous 777 models or any competing airplanes in service.
Fuel consumption per seat in the 777-300ER has improved by 5% over the 777-200. The additional payload and range capability of the 777-200LR will make the 777 Freighter the world’s largest, longest range twin-engine freighter, carrying 104 tonnes of payload just over 9,000 km (4,885 nmi).
The 777-200LR got a lot of worldwide coverage for achieving the record for distance traveled nonstop by a commercial airplane. I actually happened to be lucky enough to be on board for that flight - 22 hours and 42 minutes in the air from Hong Kong to London – the long way. We got to see the sunrise twice.
An amazing journey, but I’m not sure that I’d want to repeat the experience of being surrounded by reporters for 23 hours with no escape. Just kidding!
The cool thing about the 777-200LR is its tremendous capacity for additional payload that would otherwise keep competing aircraft from flying as far. It’s a significant advantage for an airline looking to make additional revenue with cargo on commercial flights.
Of course, the -200LR is the platform for the 777 Freighter - scheduled to enter service in the fourth quarter of 2008. It will be the first all-new freighter to enter the market in 13 years when it goes into service with launch customer Air France.
And what’s next?
A potential competitor to the 777 could be the larger version of the Airbus A350, which is scheduled to enter service in 2015 – eight years from today. But it’s an airplane that has yet to be defined.
Right now we have a passenger-preferred airplane in the 777 - the widest twin-engine airplane today. And it will remain wider than the A350.
As we move into the future we expect the 777 to continue to improve and adapt, in order to bring more value to our customers as the market changes.
For sure, we won’t be standing still.