Happy New Year, everyone. If you are an aviation fan like me, 2019 promises to be another exciting year with the rollout and first flight of the new Boeing 777X, and the start of production of the largest and most efficient 737 MAX, the MAX 10. There will be other major events, I’m sure, and they will build on what was a very productive 2018 for us at Boeing.
On Tuesday, January 8, we will share our full-year orders and deliveries results. While all of the numbers are being checked and double checked, I can confirm an exciting milestone, one that I’ve been watching for the past month.
The amazing 777 – already the best-selling widebody jet of all time – has accomplished something no other widebody airplane has ever done: Surpass 2,000 net orders.
In December, we won 17 net orders for the 777 from BOC Aviation and two unidentified customers, bringing the program to 2,013 orders since its launch. The total includes popular models such as the 777-300ER (Extended Range) passenger jet, the long-range 777 Freighter, and the new 777X.
Beyond the overall sales total, the 777’s order performance in 2018 – and in recent years – really shows the family’s incredible staying power as the leader in the long-haul market. After clinching 40 net orders in 2017, the 777 won 51 net orders in 2018 and 209 orders over the past five years.
As of the end of November, the 777 has won more orders in 2018 than each Airbus widebody jet: the A350, A330 and A380. I don’t know what the final tally is for those programs, but it would fit a trend: Over the past decade, the 777-300ER has outsold the airplane in its class – the A350-1000 – by more than 3 to 1, while the 777 family has outsold the A350-1000 by more than 5 to 1.
The fact that the 777 is still climbing should come as no surprise. The 777 is a powerful platform that continues to deliver unmatched passenger and cargo capabilities.
I still remember the 777-200LR (Longer Range) that took me and dozens of others on the record-breaking flight in 2005 from Hong Kong to London (flying eastbound). That flight – 22 hours and 22 minutes – demonstrated the 777 model’s amazing ability to connect virtually any two cities around the globe.
More than a decade later, the 777’s range continues to carry passengers directly where they want to go in world-class comfort. Consider this: Of the 20 longest commercial routes today, 10 off them are still flown by a Boeing 777. (By the way, five more of them are onboard a 787 Dreamliner). And 60 percent of all trans-Pacific capacity is still made possible by 777s. (Note: a rapidly-growing 20% is carried by 787s).
Simply put, the 777 continues to please passengers while making money for leading carriers around the world, fueling the steady stream of orders.
And the 777 Freighter has also been a big driving force behind our 2018 sales success as we finalized orders with DHL Express, FedEx Express, ANA Cargo, Lufthansa Cargo, Turkish Cargo and Qatar Airways, to name more than a few.
As the largest and longest-range twin-engine cargo airplane in the world, the 777 Freighter simply has no competitor with its ability to fly 4,900 nautical miles (9,070 kilometers) and a payload of 112 tons (102 metric tonnes or 102,000 kg).
The staying power of the 777 is providing a good transition to the new 777X, which will further extend the family’s performance, economics and range capability. Over the next few months, we will have more opportunities to go deeper into the special characteristics of the 777X – including an all-new high-span composite wing, its incredible range and 12-percent fuel efficiency advantage over its competition.
Whether it’s the current 777-300ER and 777 Freighter or the future 777X, I am excited to see how far this airplane family can go…