Boeing 777-8’s entry into service date depends partly on customer demand: executive

FILE PHOTO: The Boeing logo is displayed on a screen, at the NYSE in New York
FILE PHOTO: The Boeing logo is displayed on a screen, at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 7, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

October 16, 2019

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The date of entry into service of Boeing Co’s ultra-long-range 777-8 wide-body airliner will depend partly on customer demand, an executive said, with the planemaker hoping to win an order from Qantas Airways Ltd to supply the plane for Sydney-London flights.

Qantas <QAN.AX> has said it could purchase Boeing’s <BA.N> 777-8 or the rival Airbus SE <AIR.PA> A350-1000 for the world’s longest-ever commercial flights, with hopes of delivery from late 2022.

Boeing said in August it had pushed back the entry into service of the 777-8 beyond its earlier plan for 2022. The larger 777-9, due to enter service first with a shorter range, has faced engine-related delays.

“Our timetable on the 777-8 obviously is still under consideration for when it actually enters service,” Darren Hulst, a senior marketing executive at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, told reporters in a telephone briefing from Sydney on Wednesday.

“But it is really more of when the combination of the demand from our customers and how it aligns with the design and production for the 777X as a program,” he said.

He declined to comment on whether an order from Qantas would accelerate Boeing’s plans for the 777-8, which Boeing also plans to develop as a freighter. Emirates and Qatar Airways have already placed firm orders for the 777-8.

Boeing has put forward a “compelling offer” to deal with any delays to the 777-8 in its contest against Airbus for planes for Sydney-London flights, Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce said in August, without providing further details.

(Reporting by Jamie Freed; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman & Simon Cameron-Moore)

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