Boeing claims its new 777X will offer significant advantages over direct rival the Airbus A350-1000.
The airframer is working to secure customers and launch the 777X family, which comprises the 777-300ER-sized 777-8X and the -9X stretch. The latter has 50 more seats, giving it a capacity of around 400 passengers. Both are powered by General Electric GE9X engines in the 100,000lb thrust class. Service entry for the lead -9X variant is slated for 2020, which is around three years after the A350-1000. The 777-8X is likely to follow the -9X by nine months to a year.
"The -8X is about the same size as the A350-1000," says John Wojick, Boeing's senior vice-president global sales. "It is several percentage points more efficient than the A350-1000 on a per-seat basis, and that is true for the economics as well," he told Flightglobal Pro at the IATA annual general meeting in Cape Town.
The larger variant takes that advantage significantly further, argues Wojick: "The -9X, by being 50 seats larger with the same wing, engines and economics as the -8X, drives a tremendous improvement in fuel burn and efficiency over the A350-1000 - by double digits."
As well as claimed economic benefits, Wojick says that the 777-8X will offer significant performance advantages too. "The -8X at its maximum weight and maximum capability will have well over 1,000nm more range than the A350-1000," he says. "It also has the capability to be very competitive, even with that additional range. And most people will not desire that much range capability, so we will be selling the -8X not only with an 8,000nm range capability but also with range capability of over 9,000nm to allow it serve routes like Singapore to the US or the Middle East to the US West Coast."
The A350-1000, which is the largest of the three variants offered, will have a range of 8,400nm with 350 passengers, according to Airbus's latest brochure data. Orders stand at 110 aircraft from six customers.