Boeing Tallies $100 Billion in New 777X Orders at Dubai Airshow

Paul Ausick

While The Boeing Co. (BA) doesn’t yet know where it will build the planes, the company on Sunday took orders for 259 of its new 777X mini-jumbo jets, 30 of its 787 Dreamliners, and 111 of the company’s 737 models. Boeing said the orders for its 777X planes total more than $95 billion at list prices, and the value of the other orders is approximately $19 billion.

Just last Wednesday the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) at Boeing’s Washington state plants rejected an eight-year contract extension that the company said was a requirement if the 777X was to be built in the state.

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Since the vote was taken Boeing has said it will not re-open negotiations with the IAM, but the head of the company’s commercial airplanes division said on Saturday that the 777X could still be built in Washington. The Boeing official said that the ball is in the IAM’s court.

Japan has been mentioned as a possible location for the 777X manufacturing plant and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) is also a possibility.

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Of the 259 orders for the 777X, all but 34 came from Middle East-based airlines. Emirates has order 150 of the planes and Qatar Airways ordered 50 to add to the 25 orders from Etihad, which is also based in the U.A.E. Lufthansa ordered the remaining 34 planes. The 777X was specially designed to take into account the wishes of Middle Eastern carriers for planes capable of handling extreme high temperatures and to fly long distances.

Low-cost airlines flydubai ordered 100 of Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 aircraft and 11 of the Next-Generation 737-800s. The order is the largest ever for Boeing’s 737 from the Middle East.

Boeing competitor Airbus announced that Etihad Airways ordered 50 of its A380 XWB jumbo jets, 36 A320neo single-aisle planes, and 1 A330 freighter. The A380 competes against Boeing’s 747 and the A320neo is the Airbus answer to the 737.

Production of the 777X is scheduled to start in 2017 and first deliveries are expected in 2020. The 737 MAX is scheduled to make its first flight in 2016 and first deliveries are expected in 2017. First flight test for the 787-10 is scheduled for 2017 and first deliveries are targeted for 2018.

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