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Did Boeing Know 777 Will Canibalize 747

Fri Nov 17, 2000 12:04 am

I see that many airlines, United especially, are ordering 777's to replace their 747 classics. It also seems that many other airlines are purchasing 777's when they would previously be purchasing 747's. Did Boeing intentionally design the 777 to cannibalize the 747?
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RE: Did Boeing Know 777 Will Canibalize 747

Fri Nov 17, 2000 12:19 am

The 777 is intended to replace the older 747's. So there's no surprise there. And I'm sure Boeing anticipated some carriers using the 777 over the 744. The 747 will always have a niche in commercial aviation. However, I agree with you...the 777 is a success!

RE: Did Boeing Know 777 Will Canibalize 747

Fri Nov 17, 2000 12:24 am

The 777 is in this decade what the 747 was in the 70s; an airplane which every airline (almost) found a use for & is pleased with. Put simply, the 777 is the flagship widebody for the new millennium.
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RE: Did Boeing Know 777 Will Canibalize 747

Fri Nov 17, 2000 1:01 am

I agree in most cases but this one: the 777 is and will never be a "flagship" widebody-aircraft. Airlines with intense Hub-to-hub traffic like LHR-JFK or FRA-NRT will always need bigger planes than the more or less only medium-sized TripleSeven.

The B777 is a market-driven product with far less emotion and grandeur to it than the "Jumbo Jet".

The current impression that the B747-marketshare is falling is not only because of the 777 and the A340-600 but also because of timing. The big airlines are currently well equipped with almost new 747-400s, the smaller older 747s have to be replaced and about 50%-70% of that market can be fed by the slightly smaller 777s and A340s, the rest will be replaced by new Jumbos. When Airbus gives the 100% go-ahead for its A3XX I´m sure 747 (X) sales will go up again. In the meantime a lot of Big-Jet decisions are just pending until the Top Ten have choosen their menue.
Don´t be fooled: In just a few years you´ll suddenly see most clients have enough 777s and the hausse of this year will be over.
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RE: Did Boeing Know 777 Will Canibalize 747

Fri Nov 17, 2000 2:16 am

I think the big reasons why the 777 has sold over 500 planes are:

1. The plane arrived just when ICAO approved 180-minutes ETOPS certification, which meant the 777 could fly most of the world's long international trunk routes.

2. The plane has proved to be a perfect replacement for longer range DC-10's and L1011's, plus replacements for older 747's.

3. There is a big clamor to buy the 777. Note that here in the USA, AA, CO, DL and UA are buying 777-200's in large numbers, and we may see NW join this club soon. Asian airlines like the 777-300 because it offers the seating capacity of the 747 "Classics" but at much lower fuel burn, perfect for east Asian regional routes. In Europe, BA is a big user of the 777-200ER, and even AF (with its big Airbus fleet) likes the 777-200ER because they could put in more premium seating than on the A340-300.

4. With the increasing emphasis on "point to point" international service (especially with more countires going to "open skies" operations and very soon renegotiation of many current treaties to increase service between certain countries), a plane like the 777 would allow many more cities to be served on international flights, since we don't waste the large number of seats like we do on a 747-400.
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RE: Did Boeing Know 777 Will Canibalize 747

Fri Nov 17, 2000 3:12 am

I think the 777 will in fact go down in history as the greatest commercial aircraft of the post-747 era.


Long story short, the 777 has allowed airlines that did not have a market for the 747 to resume ultra long haul service. Just think, Delta, for example, could order the 772ER and serve the ATL-HKG market. That particular market would usually have to connect through SFO or LAX. No longer.

The 777 is just as important a development, if not more important, than the 747. Why? Because the 777 changed the way Boeing, the world's leading aircraft manufacturer, builds its products.

The reason the 777 is such a quality product is because of what was just stated above. The 777 is the first ever commercial aircraft that is built exactly the way airlines want it built. Everything, from the location of the fueling door to the material from which the ailerons were made to the toilet seat that doesn't slam down, is just the way airlines wanted it.

I don't think Boeing will be able to do this with the 747X. They couldn't with the 764 or the 73NG because they were based on old designs. Not that they are bad airplanes, they're just not as good as the 777.

That's why it's inevitable that the 777 has and will continue to cannibalize the 747's market. I suppose you could say that Boeing designed too good of an airplane.

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