Present tense

Over the past few weeks, I’ve fielded a lot of questions about Boeing’s future plans for the 777 program. But for me, the real news is what’s happening with the 777 here and now.

With last week’s order for 6 777s, 2011 has already become the second best year ever for 777 sales. We’ve recorded 124 orders— and we still have three months to go! If you’re keeping track, the magic number to beat is 154 set back in 2005.

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On track for a record year.

To put things into perspective, consider this. Just this year, we’ve sold more 777-300ERs than Airbus has sold A350-1000s since that airplane was launched in 2006. Overall, 163 777-300ERs have been ordered since the last A350-1000 was purchased.

Earlier this year, Airbus announced a significant redesign for the A350-1000 that will cause its entry into service to slide. While the competition is in disarray as it struggles to find its place in this market segment, the 777 continues to work its magic with both our customers and their passengers. This past Friday, Qatar Airways took delivery of its 27th 777, which also happened to be the airline’s 100th airplane. Qatar also has 13 more on order. The airline’s Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker summed it up best when he said “…the airplane has earned itself a reputation for comfort, versatility and reliability, and it is only fitting that our 100th aircraft is a 777.”

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Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker, left, and Boeing’s Vice President of Sales for the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia Marty Bentrott celebrate the delivery of Qatar’s 27th Boeing 777.

As we close in on the 1000th 777 ever produced, I can understand the media’s fascination with the 777X and what’s coming next. We’re always looking at the best approach for the program and will continue to work with our customers to make sure we give them what they want. But while we consider the future, let’s take a moment to enjoy the present and an airplane that is the best in its class.

Comments (17)

Chris Cook (South Africa):

Congratulations to Boeing and Qatar Airways on the delivery of their 27th 777. I recall reading an article a few years of Qatar taking delivery of their 1st 777! Great to see Boeing and Qatar's relationship growing with strength!

Nick de Cook (Oss, Netherlands):

Will the 777X be the same as the Yellowstone Y3?
No matter what happens, T7 will always be awesome!

Thomas V. Horstmann, Jr. (Portland, Oregon):

Given the recent news concerning the 737, 787-10 and 777 programs, Boeing's future looks a bright as ever. GREAT JOB!!!!

James Baloun (Palo Alto, California):

If 100,000+ pounds thrust was easy everybody would do it. GE is the wind beneath the 777s wings!

Kingson Wang (Spencer, NC United States):

Congratulations on the 1,000th 777! One of my favorite planes!

V V (Montréal, Québec):

I am wondering if you will launch the 787-10 first or the 777-9 (click here) first. The 787-10 economics would be unbeatable on routes up to slightly above 6,000 nautical miles. But the 777-9 would be much more capable in term of payload-range despite its slightly worse economics on per-seat-mile basis compared to the 787-10 on a 6,000 nm route.

Perhaps the 787-10 first is a good move while awaiting the final definition of the A350-1000XWB. I believe the A350-1000XWB will change significantly from its definition today. I can hardly imagine a successful A350-1000XWB in the current form. As you said above, the 777-300ER amassed more orders just this year compared to the A350-1000XWB's orders since its launch in 2006.

In any case, I do not think there is an urgency to announce anything too prematurely.

Russel Ahmed (Dhaka, Bangladesh):

Being an aviation freak, I must say its all about the innovation, aristocracy, perfection made BOEING 777 production line truly believed as magnitude of excellence. 777-300ER, 777-300, 777-200ER, 777-200LR, 777-200, 777F all are made that completes its mission brilliantly than ever before. Qatar airways really made an honorable entrance by taking 777-200LR as their 100th entrance. 777X believed to be the next big innovation by BOEING. Its all about the brand integrity, hard work, passion, desperate fusion of excellence made every single innovation of Boeing praiseworthy. GEnx engines would be best ever GE produced along with long overwhelming friendship with BOEING. Long live BOEING....Always forever the frontier......ROCK ON THE SKY........

Rob ( Canada) (Vancouver B.C. Canada):

Hi Randy,

First of all, thank you for the invitation and the day long events you had for us at the 787 Delivery Ceremony. It was great to be included in this proud day for Boeing and its employees.

Do I see the wings of the 787 on the 777 you have posted on this site?

Robert.

Dion Rust (Uk):

I wouldn't say these aircraft have got a good reputation for comfort. Airlines cram to many people in these days! (not to mention they are loud to fly in). Other then that, what a lovely aircraft.

Daniel Tsang (Hong Kong):

Randy:

The Boeing 777 is certainly the most competitive & most popular airplane out there in the marketplace.

Will Boeing consider advanced Aluminum-lithium (Al-Li) alloy supplied by Alcoa for widespread use on the 777X?

Doing so, coupled with a 15% better fuel burn per seat, a 787-styled composite wing, a new GE engine, will prove to be a very successful upgrade.

Also, will Boeing stretch the 777-300ER further?

Here is my report:
http://www.aspireaviation.com/2011/09/14/new-boeing-777x-likely-to-be-a-highly-efficient-derivative/

Rene G. Abad (Camiling):

Just to share my ideas on a NG 777-8

http://planetalks.blogspot.com/2010/10/will-777ng-be-proposed-to-ba-iberia.html

I hope some of the ideas get adopted to maintain the 777 on top of the game.

Randy Tinseth:

It was a pleasure meeting you Rob. I'm so glad you could make it down. A proud day for us all.

As for your question on the wings, those are actually 777-300ER wings with 1G load on them.

Antoine:

Great song, great airplane!! Seattle is full of resources :-) No doubt about it!

Frank McIlvoy (London):

It has indeed been a good year for the 777 in terms of sales. And from personal experience I know it to be a pleasure to fly and the finest passenger liner in its class. I am sure Boeing will want to mantain their position, irrespective of the offerings from Airbus. I have no doubt that Boeing will not want to be caught out as happened over the summer with the AA split order for the 737.

But in the interests of balance and fair play, it must be added that sales of the Airbus A330 benefitted from the ongoing delays with the 787 program, which are hopefully now resolved. So its fair to say both manufacturers have benefitted from "disarray" at the other at one time or another. Swings and roundabouts I guess.

Keep up the good work!

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States ):

The 777-300ER has been the commercial jet of the decade and shows no signs of a sale slump in this one. The 77Ws superior performance and lighter weight has put the put the skids on the A340-600 production and has not been stymied by the A350-1000 as people thought it would have.

I love the Idea of the 777-8X as a successor to the 777-300ER and the 777-9X as a growth version of the 8X. The 787-10X would be a great replacement for the 777-200ER with the same or slightly improved range and a reduced MTOW for improved fuel efficiency. The Y3 as mentioned above should take the place of the once proposed 747-600X in length and capacity albeit slightly smaller than the A380 in the form of a single deck twinjet.

The future looks great for the 777 and all the other planes in current production.

Jun Leido (Manila, Philippines):

Congatulations to the Boeing 777 Team!!!

Richard Campbell (Nassau,Np,Bahamas.):

When a company find a sweet spot, market wise it run with it and Boeing did that with the 777 lineup.
it can hold on to that spot if its new 777 version is better.

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