Jim Albaugh, CEO of Boeing commercial unit, has announced the company is aiming to launch its conceptual 777X by the end of 2012.
In a speech at the unveiling of Boeing's 1000th 777, Albaugh said,
"We're working towards being in a position toward the end of this year to talk to our board. That's assuming the business case closes, that's assuming the technical trades are ones that close".
On a strategic level, Boeing’s objectives for the decade were to achieve parity between the re-engined 737 Max and Airbus A320neo, in conjunction with making a large investment to further strengthen the position of its wide body family for the coming decades.
One of the airlines interested in the 777X is Emirates, and Boeing recently briefed Emirates on the latest 777X studies. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairperson of Emirates, said,
“Our teams have been in dialogue with the Boeing team for some time now, it's really very interesting to see this new aircraft if it will come out. It would be an excellent aircraft to have in Emirates”.
The new Boeing 777X will be a highly efficient derivative of the Boeing 777, a wide-body, long-range, twin-engine jet airliner. Commonly known as “Triple Seven”, the aircraft is the world's largest twinjet with a range from 5,235 to 9,380 nautical miles (9,695 to 17,370 km), depending on model, and has a seating for more than 300 passengers.
The abstract two-member 777X family includes a 14,800km (8,000nm) 407-seat 777-9X and 353-seat 777-8X and probably a third model in an ultra long-range 777-8LX. The lengths of the -9X and -8X models will exceed those of the existing 777-300ER and -200ER fuselages, and will have a 787-style composite wing.
Boeing is hoping to launch the new 777 family along with a 323-seat 787-10X, a stretch of the 787-9 due for service in 2014. This is expected to create an even spread of Boeing's wide body product line from the 242-seat 787-8 to the 467-seat 747-8.
Although Albaugh did not provide details on the new 777X’s potential efficiency compared to the 777-300ER, he said it would be large improvement, and the company expects its customer base to be very interested in this new aircraft.