Last week Airbus announced the termination of A380 jumbo jet production by 2021, in favor of smaller wide bodies such as Boeing 787 Dreamliner that could enable airlines operate more point-to-point routes bypassing the most congested hubs.
However, there can still be a market for large wide body aircrafts if they can offer a unit cost advantage over their smaller counterparts. Boeing’s new 777X aircraft family, an updated version of Boeing’s highly successful 777, that will hit the market next year is likely to dominate it.
Its new wing and state-of-the-art engines will guarantee additional range and better fuel efficiency. Customer base would comprise the same as A380, which is, Emirates, Qatar, Etihad, Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa with Emirates being the most dominant customer with 150 firm orders. Emirates is also contemplating an additional order of 20 777Xs likely to replace the airline’s existing 250 777-300ERs and A380s in its fleet by 2030.
With A380s being out of production, coupled with the fact that the existing ones would be retired soon by most customers, 777X has a genuine shot at getting new orders from Qantas, Turkish Airlines, and some of the big airlines in East Asia.