Dubai carrier Emirates doubts Boeing 777x aircraft delivery in 2020

Emirates, a launch customer of the world’s biggest twin engined jet, was to receive its first Boeing 777-9 in 2020 but the manufacturer has suspended load testing of the plane. (Boeing)
Updated 14 October 2019

Dubai carrier Emirates doubts Boeing 777x aircraft delivery in 2020

  • Emirates is a launch customer of the world’s biggest twin engined jet
  • The US planemaker suspended load testing of the plane when media reports said a cargo door failed a ground stress test

DUBAI: Emirates doubts it will receive any of the 115 Boeing 777-9s it has ordered next year, its president said on Monday, as the US planemaker grapples with challenges in building the jet.
Emirates, a launch customer of the world’s biggest twin engined jet, was to receive its first 777-9 in 2020 but the manufacturer has suspended load testing of the plane.
“... By the end of next year we were to have eight of them. Now it doesn’t look like we will have any,” Tim Clark said at a conference in Dubai.
Boeing suspended load testing of the new widebody in September when media reports said a cargo door failed a ground stress test. There have also been issues with General Electric Co’s new GE9X turbine engine that will power the jet.
Boeing has said it expects to hold the initial flight test in 2020 and is aiming for the 777X to enter commercial service in the same year.
Clark said he had told Boeing he insists on a 13- to 16-month test period for the new jet.
Emirates ordered 150 777X jets, including 777-8 variants, in 2013. It later placed a preliminary order for 40 Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets in 2017, which Clark said he still saw a place for in the airline’s fleet plans.
Boeing has also been unable to deliver any of its 737 MAX aircraft since the single-aisle plane was grounded worldwide in March after two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people.
Clark said in September Emirates would not take new Airbus and Boeing planes unless they were truly ready, and said that engine makers Rolls Royce and GE must improve their reliability.
Aircraft manufacturers should not over promise on new aircraft capability, he said on Monday.
Emirates has also signed deals for 40 Airbus A330-900s and 30 A350-900s.


Wamda chief sees Aramco dividend for Saudi economy

Updated 2 min 1 sec ago

Wamda chief sees Aramco dividend for Saudi economy

BEIJING: Fadi Ghandour, one of the best known entrepreneurs in the Middle East, told Arab News that the initial public offering of Saudi Aramco was a good thing for the Kingdom’s economy and its stock market.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Beijing, Ghandour said: “It will be good for the country and for the Tadawul. It will deepen markets and give citizens a sense of participation.”

He added that the decision not to market the IPO directly in some foreign financial centers would make little difference to the outcome of the IPO. “It’s a statement by the Kingdom that it has its own resources, and does not have to rely on others. But I can see how some people would view it negatively. Once Aramco is listed on the market, it will all be much more transparent,” he said.

Ghandour, who runs the startup investment firm Wamda Capital, said the venture capital scene in the Middle East was improving. “Our business is different from the slow down in bricks and mortar. The sovereign wealth funds are finally starting to look at investment in startups and small-to-medium enterprises,” he said, citing recent activity by Saudi Arabia’s Pubic Investment Fund and Mubadala of the UAE.

“There are increasing opportunities in fintech and and e-commerce,” he said.

He said the investment strategy of other big players, like the Saudi and UAE-backed Vision Fund, was flawed. “Throwing a lot of money at companies with high valuations blunts their need to show a serious path to profits. Management loses its edge. The path to profitability is not through having a big brother with lots of money. Startup companies survive because they have a path to profitability,” he said.

Ghandour said he was in Beijing because he wanted a “Chinese perspective” on business. “The Middle East is looking increasingly eastwards, and that’s a good thing. China is always looking for new markets and resources, and they are increasingly innovators these days rather than copiers. They want to be leaders in business,” he added.