Boeing 777x deliveries unlikely before first quarter 2024, Emirates' Clark says

FILE PHOTO: A Boeing 777X airplane takes off during its first test flight from the company's plant in Everett, Washington, U.S. January 25, 2020. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester

DUBAI (Reuters) - Emirates Airlines President Tim Clark said on Wednesday Boeing’s 777x jet was unlikely to be delivered before the first quarter of 2024.

Boeing has been developing the widebody jet, a new version of its 777 series, with the goal of releasing it in late 2023, already three years later than planned.

“The 777x was due to come in June of last year, Now it’s unlikely to be, I think, before the first quarter of 2024,” Clark told a virtual summit by aviation consultancy CAPA.

A Boeing spokeswoman told Reuters the planemaker still anticipated 777x deliveries to start in late 2023.

The 777X will be the first major jet to be certified since software flaws in two Boeing 737 MAX planes caused fatal crashes and prompted accusations of cozy relations between the company and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The certification process of the new jet is expected to be longer and costlier after scrutiny of the 737 MAX, which was grounded for almost two years following the fatal crashes.

Emirates originally ordered 150 of the 777X series, which seats up to 406 people, and now has 126 on order. Analysts say the COVID-19 crisis has clouded the demand outlook for such big jets.

The plane was originally due to enter service with Emirates in June 2020.

Writing by Alexander Cornwell; editing by John Stonestreet and Jason Neely