Paul Lewis/WASHINGTON DC Guy Norris/LOS ANGELES
Boeing is looking at reviving the shelved 777-100X shrink derivative as a counter to Airbus Industrie's A330-200 and its proposed -100 variant ahead of an expected Singapore Airlines (SIA) request for proposals (RFP) for an A310 replacement.
SIA is expected to release a long awaited RFP by the end of this month to meet its "W-aircraft" requirement for a new mid-size aircraft. Responding will prove a challenge for Airbus and Boeing as neither is able to offer a true 200-250-seat widebody to replace the A310. This is used on SIA's 1-6h regional routes.
Boeing confirms that it is "re-examining" the 250-seat 777-100X as an alternative to developing the smaller 767-400ERX, which was originally targeted at American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, but for which enthusiasm has waned. SIA has ordered 46 777-200/300s and was a strong proponent of the -100X in its original ultra-long-haul guise before it was dropped in favour of the larger -200X/300X proposed derivatives.
"We are looking at it again in light of the 777-200X and -300X, and we want to revisit it for the family benefits that it might bring," says Boeing.
The original -100X study, initially revealed in May 1995, was shelved largely because the seat-kilometre costs could not be justified. Boeing concedes: "We are looking hard at the business case."
Unlike the original concept, the revised 777-100X is tailored more closely to compete with the 250-seat A330-200 and proposed shrink -100 (Flight International, 18-24 August).
Maximum take-off weight is baselined at 276,900kg (610,000lb), rather than the 287,150kg range previously specified. This would produce a range capability of around 13,500km (7,300nm), rather than the earlier proposed 16,700km range.
Source: Flight International