Almost four years ago, Singapore Airlines agreed to buy 20 Boeing 777-9s. Better known as 777Xs, the then untested plane was promising big things. But a lot has happened in the time since. That’s seen the Singapore Airlines 777X order take a few twists and turns along the way.
The order, made in February 2017, was a double deal. Singapore Airlines wanted some more Dreamliners as well. All up, the buy was valued at US$13.8 billion based on published list prices.
“We are continuing to invest for the future of the SIA Group,” said Singapore Airlines CEO, Mr Goh Choon Phong at the time.
Back then, the 777Xs were due to start landing in Singapore from the 2021/22 financial year.
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777X delays may be a blessing in disguise for Singapore Airlines
The trials and tribulations of the 777X are well-known. In 2011, Boeing anticipated the 777X to be flying by 2017/18. One year later, that was pushed back to 2019 amid claims of a parsimonious, risk-averse, and backpedaling culture at Boeing that was putting the brakes on the plane’s design and initial production.
As it turned out, the first test flight of Boeing’s 777X didn’t occur until January 2020. Boeing now hopes commercial production will begin next year, with the first deliveries slated to start in 2022.
Before the travel downturn, that wasn’t really the kind of news Singapore Airlines wanted to hear. But as 2020 grinds to an end, the delay may be a blessing