Boeing’s 777X longhaul programme will put pressure on the Airbus A380 and the 747-8 - the latter of which is already feeling the strain of a soft cargo market, according to Air Lease’s chief executive.
“It will eat into the A380 market and it will eat into the 747-8 market," said Air Lease’s, Steven Udvar-Hazy, on a third-quarter earnings call, adding: “In terms of seating capacity, the 777-9X is only about 5% larger than the 777-300ER, but because of the new wing and the engine design, it hopes to achieve about a 10% to 12% improvement in operating costs.”
Udvar-Hazy noted "what is more concerning for Boeing" though is the “soft cargo market" which has resulted in demand for new 747-8 freighters "not being as strong as they [Boeing] forecast". He believes the development is calling into question the future of the 747 programme.
“It's yet to be seen whether the 747 will be sort of be wound down at some stage later on in the decade. I think that's a decision Boeing has not made yet,” he says.
Regarding the possible timing of a 777X launch, he says Boeing is working "very hard" which to achieve a launch before the end of the year, and the Dubai Air Show “will certainly be a turning point in that process.”