Boeing’s next-generation series from the 777 aircraft model, the 777X, has had its first flight postponed today after spending more than 3 hours on the ground, waiting for the weather to improve. Operating as flight BOE1, the Boeing 777-9 was scheduled to leave Boeing's Everett facility at 10:00 local time. However, due to 'inclement weather' the aircraft was held at the end of the runway for approximately three hours before finally returning to the gate.
The aircraft manufacturer said that the first flight date would be subject to weather conditions. It gave the tentative date of January 23, which was avoided due to unfavourable conditions. The manufacturer says the first flight will be postponed till tomorrow.
Boeing tweeted: "We’ll try again tomorrow starting at 10 a.m. Wind levels prevented us from flying today."
Originally, the Boeing 777X was to take to the skies for the first time last summer, however engine issues and certification prompted a delay.
If all goes to plan, deliveries are expected to commence in early 2021, slightly later than the mid-2020 timeframe estimated before the first flight date was delayed.
The Boeing 777X currently has 309 firm orders from 8 customers including All Nippon Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines.
The Boeing 777X is mainly competing against Airbus’ A350-1000 offering which is already in service. Boeing’s model is taking significantly longer to get off the ground. Boeing says that the 777X offers 5% better aerodynamics in comparison to the A350-1000.
Other improvements on the aircraft’s efficiency include 10% better fuel efficiency and than the competition as well as 10% better operating economics. Among other things, the aircraft offers unrivalled network growth opportunities, according to Boeing.