Boeing has received 180min extended-range twinjet operations (ETOPS) approval for the General Electric GE90-powered Boeing 777 from the US Federal Aviation Administration. British Airways plans to begin ETOPS service with the 777 in late October, on transatlantic services from London to Boston.

ETOPS approval of the "A-market" 777-200 with the GE90-85B was held up when engine problems delayed the start of 1,000-cycle service-ready testing.

Europe's Joint Reliability Assessment Board is now expected to issue 120min ETOPS approval for the GE90-powered 777, enabling the UK Civil Aviation Authority to issue operating approval to BA by mid-October. Europe will not grant 180min clearance until the airline has accumulated 50,000 fleet hours with the 120min-approved engine.

Boeing planned to begin flight testing of the longer-range 777-200IGW (increased gross-weight), powered by up-rated GE90-92Bs, on 4 October. Basic certification is scheduled for January 1997.

Meanwhile, the Rolls-Royce Trent 800 powered 777, which has also underwent its ETOPS testing, awaits formal approval from the FAA's Reliability Assessment Board. Clearance is understood to be imminent.

Source: Flight International