Boeing says in advanced talks to sell 777X freighters

Boeing executives expressed the company’s commitment to support aerospace industry growth in the Middle East region and confidence in a market recovery leading into the Dubai Airshow



From left: Bernard Choi, vice-president of Global Media Relations; Ted Colbert, president and CEO of Boeing Global Services; Michael Manazir, vice-president of Business Development for Defence, Space and Security; and Ihssane Mounir, senior vice-president of Commercial Sales & Marketing. — Supplied photo
From left: Bernard Choi, vice-president of Global Media Relations; Ted Colbert, president and CEO of Boeing Global Services; Michael Manazir, vice-president of Business Development for Defence, Space and Security; and Ihssane Mounir, senior vice-president of Commercial Sales & Marketing. — Supplied photo
by

Muzaffar Rizvi

Published: Sat 13 Nov 2021, 7:35 PM

Boeing is in advanced discussions to sell a proposed new freighter version of its 777X passenger plane, a top executive said on Saturday.

The US planemaker is poised to launch what would be the world’s largest twin-engined freight plane as European rival Airbus seeks buyers for an A350 cargo version.

Boeing is also sticking to plans to deliver its delayed 777X passenger version in 2023, Ihssane Mounir, senior vice-president of commercial sales and marketing, said.

Speaking at a news conference on the eve of the Dubai Airshow, Mounir said a recovery in commercial flying had achieved a “strong foothold” after Covid-19 lockdowns.

Qatar Airways has said publicly it is in negotiations with Boeing on the possible purchase of a 777X freighter, while FedEx is widely seen as another potential early buyer.

Ted Colbert, president and CEO of Boeing Global Services; Michael Manazir, vice-president of Business Development for Defence, Space and Security; and Ihssane Mounir, senior vice-president of Commercial Sales & Marketing, shared their views for regional demand and emphasised Boeing’s commitment to deepen its regional presence.

777x deliveries in 2023

Boeing said first delivery of the777X is expected in late 2023. The US planemaker is confident of the airplane success as it has 320 orders and commitments with eight customers. The biggest order is with Emirates airline for 115 aircraft. The other two major Gulf carriers, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, have also ordered 25 and 60 aircraft, respectively.

Resuming 787 deliveries soon

Freighter traffic has increased as passenger planes that typically carry about half of airborne goods were grounded by the pandemic.

Boeing is meanwhile “getting close” to resuming deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner after suspending them to deal with production flaws, Mounir said, while stressing the schedule depended on ongoing talks with regulators.

Boeing executives expressed hope that the 737 MAX will return to service in China soon as the Chinese regulators have completed the test flights of the aircraft.

“The ultimate decision is in the hands of the Chinese regulator,” Mounir said.

Bright defence outlook

The US planemaker estimates a $2.6 trillion defense outlook over the next decade, even with countries continuing to spend on pandemic response measures.

“Boeing anticipates a stable, predictable, strong defence market. A major portion of that stems from sales to the Middle East as it could sell as much as $34 billion worth of defence and space products to Gulf customers during the next five years,” Manazir said, adding that AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, CH-47 Chinook cargo helicopter, KC-46 tanker and small satellite offerings can generate good sales in the region.

Boeing executives expressed the company’s commitment to support aerospace industry growth in the Middle East region and confidence in a market recovery leading into the Dubai Airshow.

They said Boeing will showcase its market-leading portfolio of commercial, defence and services products at the Dubai Airshow, starting today. Its portfolio includes the international debut of its newest fuel-efficient widebody jet, the 777X, along with the company’s growing autonomous capabilities such as the Boeing Airpower Teaming System. A 777-9 flight test airplane will also participate in the Dubai Airshow’s flying display and also appear in the static display.

— muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com

With inputs from Reuters


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