OA940 wrote:The 777X was built to be a long-term plane. As 77W's reach 15-20 years of age in mass that's when the orders will start piling on.
The A380, A330NEO, 747-8 and 767-400ER were also built to be long-term planes. Just because Boeing hopes/expects it to be so, doesn't mean it will happen.
But I do agree that the 777-300ER replacement market is holding it back for the time being. But I also expect that a lot more 777-300ER replacement orders will go to the A350-1000 rather than to the 777X. IMHO, even the 787-9 and -10 will get a larger share of that pie than the 777X. Many 777-300ER orders were placed because it offered lower CASM than the 777-200, and what many airlines really wanted was something slightly smaller with a similar range and lower cost-per-seat. This is similar to how many 747 operators got that type because of the range, not the capacity, and given the choice went for the 777-200ER. Lets face it, many operators got the 777-300ERs because of the 787 delays, and not necessarily because they wanted it, but because it was the best Boeing could offer.
There is also an example like Swiss. There is plenty to suggest that they went for the 777-300ER because it was the only aircraft with the range and payload to replace the A340, that could be delivered fast, and possibly even with some end-of-the-line discount included. It is quite a bit bigger than the aircraft it replaced. The A350 and 787 were both sold out way into the future (and the A350 hadn't even flown yet, while the 787 was knee-deep in troubles and groundings) so they weren't really an option, and the A330-300 is still a bit short-legged for the longest routes. If the replacement was to be done today, the 787-9, -10 or A350-900 could well have been the winners, which really asks the question if Swiss would be interested in further up-sizing with the 777-9? And for how many other customers was this also the case?