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Gulf Airlines get ready for Boeing’s 777X
Carriers warn that Boeing must avoid the same mistakes of the Dreamliner...
May 6, 2013 8:46 by Reuters
Eight airlines currently own Dreamliners including United Airlines, ANA, JAL, Air India Ltd, LATAM Airlines Group and LOT Polish Airlines.
Under questioning from aviation authorities last month, Boeing said it would more rigorously challenge its test assumptions in the future, and that its analysis of the problem could change as more facts become known.
“Things will not be so easy for them in the U.S. now. Boeing has to learn from that too as a lot of the 787 was self-certified,” said Emirates’ Clark.
Clark said the plane maker has a lot to learn from the Dreamliner crisis.
“Perhaps Boeing was not quite ready for it all (the 787). But the crisis helped them learn a lot about design, metallurgy.”
The U.S company may also rethink its overseas manufacturing.
“They placed their faith in supplies from overseas manufacturers and expected them to be as good as they wanted. That is something they will be less inclined to do now,” said Clark.
The industry is learning from the Dreamliner experience and is also pushing harder on areas such as aircraft propulsion, engine technology, batteries and others.
“Like in every new product there will be continuous improvement,” said Baker.
“Boeing has a permanent solution now but as new processes are developed, so will new batteries. It may not be the lithium-ion batteries later, it may be something else. I’m sure Boeing will look for improvements in the batteries.”
Boeing is now offering a new 400-seat version of the 777, known as 777-9X, and also a 777-8X which would have the longest range of more than 9,300 nautical miles (17,200 kms), people briefed about the talks said on Friday.
Both Emirates and Qatar Airways have spoken to Boeing about these offerings. Presentations were made to the management of both carriers.
Baker has said that he is very keen on the 8X and 9X versions of the plane while Emirates’ Clark has said specifications of the new plane suits its requirements. Clark has hinted at plans to replace its fleet of 175 Boeing 777s with the 777X.
However, despite the interest, airlines are also concerned whether the problems with the Dreamlinermay result in Boeing’s other programs being pushed back.
“The cash outflow must be quite difficult to manage,” said Clark.
“The cash exposure is a tricky one and they are also trying to get the other programs out of the door.”
“An aircraft that they thought could cost $6 to $10 billion is now more than $20 billion.”
The halt to Dreamliner flights has cost Boeing an estimated $600 million and forced it to halt deliveries.
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