Top of its game

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.

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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 forward.

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.

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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.

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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.

Comments (11)

Saj (London, UK):

It comes as no surprise that the 777 has emerged as the premiere long haul flying machine for many people.

From its inception to the latest -200LR and -300ER variants, 777's have gone on to push the flight envelope beyond even the wildest dreams of the Wright Brothers.

Many people thought that the A380 would spell the end for the 747. It hasnt happened, and the A380 is struggling to get a new customer after almost 3 years without one.

The 777 is no different. It will stand the test of time - in whatever manifestation the product line up takes. Thats a testimony to the product strategy developed years ago that forms the very basis for the stunning 787 sales success today.

Neil D. (Bothell, WA _ USA):

1995-2015: Wow, it takes 20 years for Airbus to come up with a credible competitor to the 777.

Sleepless in Seattle vs. Sleeping in Toulouse!

Steve (Siggenthal Station, Switzerland):

Let's review the width facts:

The 767 cross section is 16ft 6in (5.03m)
The 767 interior cabin width is 15ft 6in (4.7m)
(to small for pairs of LD3 containers)

The 787 cross section is 18ft 10in (5.74m)
The 787 interior cabin width is 18ft (5.47m)
(wide enough for pairs of LD3 containers)

The 777 cross section is 20ft 4in (6.19m)
The 777 interior cabin width is 19ft 3in (5.86m)
(wide enough for pairs of LD3 containers)

The A330/340 cross-section is 18ft 6in(5.64m)
The A330/340 interior cabin width is 16ft 8in(5.09m)
(wide enough for pairs of LD3 containers)

The original A350 cross-section and interior width
was the same as the A330/340.

The A350XWB cross section is 19ft 5in (5.94m)
The A350XWB interior cabin width is 18ft 5in(5.60m)
(wide enough for pairs of LD3 containers)

So, the A350XWB is only 5in (0.127m) wider inside than the 787, and over 10in (0.254m) thinner inside than the 777 (over an inch per seat in Economy)

Since they clearly state that they are going after the 777 and the 787, the XWB suffix is really hugely misleading (some folks would even call that a lie).

-----

Steve,

I think you've cracked the code!

- Randy

G (France):

May I add another figure, One Millionth ETOPS flight completed in May 2007.

http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2007/q2/070514b_nr.html

Ryanzhen (China):

Hope the 777NG will be 773LR with full composite carbon fiber fuselage, with improved wing and improved engine.

Victor T (Santa Clara, CA):

The 777 is my favorite aircraft by far and it's great that it continues to do well.

As much as I love seeing 787 coming alive, I'm also expecting perhaps a new carbon composite 777 will come along in the later part of next decade. With advancement in the engines that will come around 2017/2018 timeframe, coupled with next generation material, it will be very difficult for Airbus to compete effectively. The A350XWB might be outdated soon after its EIS. If Boeing play this right, this market segment is Boeing's to lose. By the way, I hope the next generation 777 will still be called 777. I love that name.

Once again, kudos to 777 and its continuous success.

Everett (Beijing,China):

I have never changed my opinion,though Airbus told us that A350 is"a leap ahead"of 787 and a "generation beyond" the 777.In fact,Airbus always tell people that their airliners are"generation beyond"and"a leap ahead"of Boeing airliners.But they've never made an airliner(only one!)that it can make people satisfied.

In the day,Sleepless in Seattle vs. Sleeping in Toulouse!
In the night,Sleeping in Seattle vs. Sleeping in Toulouse!
Airbus sleep all the day!


Steve (Siggenthal Station, Switzerland):

I finally figured out the code for what the "X" actually stands for in "XWB"! We all were lead to believe it stands for "eXtra Wide Body", but I think that may not be the case. You know how when your typing a memo, or doing a spreadsheet, and you don't know the exact value for something at the moment? Well, what do you do, you put an "X" there, right? So, "XWB" must really stand for "Unknown Wide Body". That makes much more sense. I would suggest that when (or if?) they ever do freeze the design, the suffix should be "MWB" for Mediocre..uh, I mean "Medium Wide Body".


Chris C (South Africa):

Congratulations on reaching, and surpassing the 1,000th order milestone for the formidable Boeing 777 Family!! That is a simply stupendous achievement, but then again, the Boeing 777 really epitomises the market preferred travel requirements; non-stop, point-to-point, super-efficient, ultra-reliable/comfortable, cutting-edge technology environmental and airline/passenger/investor focused airplanes; thus it really is no surprise whatsoever that the 777 is the market leader! Period. The trip-7, as called in many airline jargon, really is a formidable airplane, and along with the 21st Century flagship – the Boeing 787 – this airplane family combination is going to go forward from strength to strength! Can’t wait to see what the new 777x families will be, but one thing for sure, the new 777s will oust the competition yet again and continue their market dominance. Once again, all the very best for your 787 programme…no doubt that during testing, a further few percentage on efficiency gains will ‘pop’ up, much like the 777-300ER!! And also, much success for selling some more phenomenal Boeing 747-8Is this year!

Yungsun Hahn (Los Angeles, CA, USA):

Before I flew on 777, I wondered what was the big deal about a typical economy seat in 777 being 18 inch wide compared to 17 inches. After flying LAX-NRT, and LAX-CDG round trips in United and Air France 772ER, respectively,I realized that an extra inch actually does make a difference!

Takami Kimura (Berkeley, California):

My first flight on the 777-300ER was on All Nippon Airways in December 2007, and it was a truly wonderful flight thanks to a truly wonderful machine! (though ANA's cabin attendants certainly add to the delightful atmosphere!)
The 777-300ER is an aircraft of simply beautiful proportions, (it's pleasing to the eye no matter what angle you view it from). Have you ever noticed how the A340-600 looks just a bit too long and skinny??

Yep, the length and width of the fuselage, the wing, the raked wing-tips, and of course those glorious GE90-115Bs with their s-shaped fan-blades; the 777-300ER is just drop-dead gorgeous! I guess it's a little obvious I'm a Boeing fan : )

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