Boeing delays development of 777-8 long-range jet

Boeing has said it will put development of the ultra-long-range 777-8 on hold.

The decision comes after a review of the development programme schedule and of 777X customer needs. It follows an earlier move to delay the first flight of the 777-9. The American manufacturer gave no indication of how long the development will be put on hold for.

The move to “adjust” the schedule was taken to reduce “risk in our development programme, ensuring a more seamless transition to the 777-8,” explained Boeing.

“We remain committed to the 777-8, which will be the most flexible commercial jet in the world and offer our customers optimal range and payload.”

The 777-8 is the smaller, longer-range follow-on to the 777-9, which is designed to carry 384 passengers in a two-class configuration and fly up to 16,170 kilometres. Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways all currently have orders in place for the aircraft.

Boeing previously said the first flight of its newest widebody would occur in this year, but that has now moved it into 2020.