3. SAA to replace A340-600’s?
SAA is broke and cannot afford to own their aircraft, meanwhile lessors won't touch the 777X due to its liquidity. So an SAA 777-9X seems very unlikely.
Potentials are QF and NZ for similar missions.
QF 380 and 744 to potentially be replaced to the US and also for ULH flying. Shifting the 380 to Asia JNB, and SCL. This would also be an order for the 778 to allow nonstop to SYD/MEL-LHR/JFK/GRU.
NZ could replace the 772 with the 778 and the 77W with 779 - but would be a lot of capacity for them, and heavy for Tasman and Pacfic island services which they are used for a lot during long haul missions. They could also order more 789 for ULH and 778 for heavier missions to LAX/SFO/LHR/HKG/NRT but depends on their new config.
Both NZ and QF orders to me sit neck and neck with their 350 competitors.
The QF and NZ RFPs will be do or die for the 777X. Both these airlines operate a higher % of ULH flights than any other carrier. IMO if the 777X doesn't win both of these the program is DOA. If the 777X can't win RFPs that should favor it significantly over its competitor, then what RFPs can it win? I'm certain Airbus is aware of this - I wonder if they will try and do to Boeing what Boeing did to them with the HA 787-9 order. A few cheap A350s could ensure that the 777X program turns into a very expensive white elephant.
I doubt NZ would go for the 779 which is just too big for their needs. NZ relies on feed from AU for its long-haul services and this is under pressure as more and more non-stop long-haul services between AU and the Americas start. I would think the A350 is more suitably sized for NZ.
Not only that but also Air New Zealand's long haul network has fragmented significantly in the past decade. Whilst 15 years ago the airline's North America network essentially consisted of two 747-400s per day to LAX and a 777-200ER to SFO three times a week, now the airline flies many additional destinations with plenty of extra frequencies (YVR, IAH, ORD and soon the planned NYC route).
Likewise to Asia there has been significant fragmentation. Whilst the airline used to operate twice daily to HKG, sending a 747-400 and a 777-200ER, right now they're only sending a 787-9 there, but also operate many more flights to Asia (TPE, SGN, HND, PVG, SIN).
The 777-9 doesn't really fit in with any of this fragmentation - 787-9 and A350-900 are more optimal in terms of capacity.
QF - Project Sunrise
BA - replace 744 / A380
AA - supplement 77W
SV - need capacity
SU - might need capacity
TK - need capacity
CA - need capacity
MU - need capacity
CZ - need capacity
AC - need capacity
AI - need capacity
KE - replace 744, 748, 77W, A380
Basically lots of orders from Asia due to the booming Asian market. 60% of the world's population lives in Asia and they have a long way to grow. I wouldn't be surprised if even smaller Chinese airlines like HU end up leasing a 778 or 779 due to their bottomless pit of subsides and population. Also cancellations by EY likely.
Most of those carriers could surely better use a 787-10 - similar capacity but lower CASM. Especially for the shorter routes.
What else would EK replace their 150ish 777’s with?
787-10s for Short/Medium haul routes.
1. Twice as many places to fly a 77X. See previous comment about world air travel growth.
Yet anyone who used this argument for the A380 would get flamed to death.
How could the 77X NOT be a success?
Because the 787-10 is more efficient, will have better CASM, has commonality with the rest of the 787 family, no stupid wing folding mechanism to break. You are thinking very narrowly. RJMAZ is right in that smaller twins better support fragmentation.
I’m surprised none of the leasing companies have placed orders? ALC? Gen Electric?
The lessors won't touch the 777X. It's far, far too little liquidity in that market. Like with the A380 it would be very hard for a lessor to place 777Xs. 787-9s and A350-900s are a much, much safer bet.
The 777x is TOO BIG. Future prosepcts, while not horrific, are far from great. I think anything less than 800-1,000 will be a huge disappointment for Boeing.
It's too big and far too optimized for ULH routes.
77W had 837 total orders, I think no other large twin will break this record. Using the 2000x 777 classic family order book number is meaningless for this discussion.
IMO the 787-9 will.
Most of the 77W operators are very happy to replace them with 787s or A350s. So 777X is not the first choice for someone looking for a 77W replacement.
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