Reports are increasingly surfacing about Boeing’s new 777 developments, with airlines said to have strongly influenced the manufacturer’s move towards a replacement for the smaller capacity but longer range 777-200LR.
Boeing had been focused on a larger 400-seat version dubbed the 777-9X, but in addition to this aircraft, which would offer more capacity than the current 777-300, airlines have seen a need for a longer-range airliner with a range of some 9,500nm.
Despite having sold only 59 of the 777-200LR the so-called 777-8X would replace, the new aircraft would enable airlines to compete on secondary city pairs in much the same way the 787 does.
The new 777 family comes closer to formal launch with airline customers now looking to Boeing for a commitment to production for a new generation, large capacity aircraft to replace the current line.
Whenever that occurs, competition between Airbus and Boeing will be heightened. With the A350 expected to be rolled out in June this year and the new 777-X series making more use of composite materials, airlines may well be spoilt for choice with not only new designs but attractive price tags as Europe and the US fight it out once more.