The Two Best-Selling Wide-Body Planes of the Last Decade

777 airplane deliveries
777 airplane deliveries

The introduction of wide-body planes in the 1960s ushered in a new era of air travel for aircraft makers, airlines, and the masses. These mean machines are still the blue-eyed boys of Boeing and Airbus , since they offer high margins. The battle for grabbing a bigger slice of the wide-body market is always red-hot, and both jet makers are forever engrossed in this fierce tussle. Airbus has been a leader in the narrow-body segment and has been fighting tooth and nail to match Boeing’s dominance in wide-body. Let’s find out each one’s score in this tug of war by peering through the duo’s top-selling wide-body aircraft in the past decade.

…from then till now
In the last decade, Boeing delivered around 1,100 wide-body planes while Airbus has dispatched 1,035. Boeing’s wide-body models have included the iconic 747, the 767, the 777, and the latest 787, while Airbus’ offerings have been the now phased out A300, A330, A340, and the A380 jumbo jet. The newly developed A350 will enter service later this year. However, in the last 10 years, the two wide-body jets that have dominated the market are the 777 and the A330.

Since the time the 777 entered service in 1995, the aircraft has flown more than 18 million hours . Boeing also takes pride in the fact that the 777 has a dispatch reliability rate of 99.3%. Dispatch reliabitily refers to an aircraft’s performance on job, as in whether it flew according to schedule, or if maintenance issues held it back. A rate above 99% is ideal.

In addition to being Boeing’s top-selling wide-body plane, the 777 is the company’s second best-selling model since 2002. In the past decade, the company has delivered 692 777s, and 2013 was a record year, with 89 deliveries. Boeing boosted the production rate in the latter half of 2012 from 7 to 8.3 a month.

Boeing may have pioneered wide-body aircraft with the introduction of the 747 jumbo jet, but Airbus is no less ambitious. For the Toulouse-based manufacturer, the A330 has been the most successful long-haul plane in the past 10 years in terms of its own delivery count. The A330 entered service in 1994. Serving more than 100 airlines across the globe and offering one of the lowest operating costs in this range, Airbus claims of one of the best dispatch reliability rates of 99.4% .

The company has delivered 764 A330s in the past decade. Every year, it managed to deliver more than the previous period, barring 2011, when delivery matched its previous-year level at 87. In 2013, deliveries peaked at 108. The A330 currently has a production rate of 10 a month.

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Boeing Best Sellers That Keep Creating History

Icelandair Boeing 737 MAX
Icelandair Boeing 737 MAX

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has more than 12,000 commercial planes in service carrying passengers and cargo. Its strong product portfolio includes the 737 family, 747 jumbo jet, the 747-8 family, 767 models, the 777, and the 787 Dreamliner. Here’s the lowdown on Boeing’s top two aircraft that played a huge role in making the company what it is today.

The narrow-body 737
The fact that the 737 family is Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ highest-selling plane should come as no surprise. But not many know that the 737 is the first commercial jetliner to cross the 10,000-order mark — achieved in 2012. The first 737-100 was delivered to Lufthansa in 1967 , and it entered full service in 1968.

Boeing is currently working on the 737 Max, the reengineered version of the 737, which has firm orders for more than 2,100 units, and is due to enter service in 2017. As seen in the chart below, the 737 forms the lion’s share of the jet maker’s total commercial deliveries. During the past 12 years (2002-2013), the company dispatched 3,707 of these jets. In 2002, 737s accounted for 60% of the total deliveries, which went up to 81% in 2010. Last year, the narrow-body jet formed 69% of the total dispatches.

Boeing’s backlog ended June 30 stands at 5,237, of which every three of four aircraft orders are for the 737. According to Boeing’s website , it received gross orders for 604 of the jets through July 22, 2014, which tallies net orders at 550, adjusted for 54 cancellations. To manage the mounting 737 backlog and ensure timely delivery, the production level has been ramped up from 38 jets a month to 42, and will be further increased to 47 a month in 2017. At current production rates, Boeing’s single-aisle backlog translates to more than seven years of production. Serving passengers for more than four decades, the jet’s order flow remains steady, with a seemingly bright future.

Boeing forecasts that demand for new planes between 2014 and 2033 will be 36,770, and 70% of this will be for single-aisle jets. So, 737 will get its fair share of orders, continuing to support the company’s top- and bottom-line growth.

The wide-body 777
The 777, Boeing’s second-highest-selling jetliner in the past 12 years, is extremely popular among airlines across the globe. The twin-engine, wide-body aircraft has five passenger versions (accommodating between 305 and 440 passengers), and a freighter variant. The 777 program’s roots go back to 1990, the year of its launch. The jet entered service in 1995, flown by United Airlines .


Boeing’s 747-400 – The Original Jumbo Jet: End of An Era

Cathay Boeing 747-400
Cathay Boeing 747-400

Later this month, Cathay Pacific’s 747 will fly from San Francisco to Hong Kong for the very last time. It’s a story we’re hearing from nearly every airline still flying the most recognizable passenger jet in aviation history – rising fuel costs are prompting carriers to ground their fleets, opting to shuttle passengers in more modern (and efficient) airliners instead. Hundreds of 747s still take to the skies every day, but their numbers are dwindling, with Boeing’s 777-300ER and 787 Dreamliner, as well as the enormous Airbus A380, picking up the slack. The flagships of yesteryear now litter the desert, with several sites in California serving as a permanent resting place for the plane that was once known as the Queen of the Skies, the Boeing 747-400.

The 400, the most prolific 747 type, first entered service with Northwest Airlines in 1989. It was the fourth iteration of Boeing’s popular jumbo, featuring a more advanced flight deck, a lighter build and, perhaps most importantly, a significantly boosted range. The most recent iteration can travel more than 8,000 miles, enabling airlines to fly from North America to Southeast Asia or Australia without stopping to refuel. An extended-range model, which added fuel tanks to the cargo hold, is used exclusively by Qantas. That plane has a nearly 9,000-mile range, which covers the 8,500-mile trek from Sydney to Dallas, Texas (with a fueling stop on the longer westbound return). The Airbus A380 will replace the 747-400ER on that route beginning in September.


Milan Malpensa Airport Plane Spotting. Boeing 777, 767, Airbus A330 [VIDEO]

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Video shows various airplanes landing and take-off at Milan Malpensa airport.

Emirates Airlines Boeing 777-300 Engine Fire On Arrival At Boston [VIDEO]

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After touching down from the long trip from Dubai, this Emirates Boeing 777-300 ER began taxiing to the terminal when a fuel leak erupted and caused this small engine fire.

Emirates launches daily service to Chicago

Emirates Airline Boeing 777 Dubai
Emirates Airline Boeing 777 (file)

Emirates has commenced a new daily non-stop service from its base in Dubai to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

The US city is home to some 2.7 million people, along with many Fortune 500 companies such as MacDonald’s Corp., Walgreen Co., Abbott Laboratories and Boeing, making it a popular business destination.

Chicago is Emirates’ ninth gateway in the US, following the Gulf carrier’s successful launch of its Boston service back in March.

The airline is rapidly increasing the capacity of its flights into the US to meet demand, and will be deploying its flagship Airbus A380 onto its Dallas, San Francisco and Houston services later this year.

The Dubai–Chicago route will be served by the Boeing 777-200LR, which features a three-class configuration with eight seats in first, 42 in business and 217 in economy.

Flight EK235 departs Dubai International Airport everyday at 0945 and arrives at O’Hare at 1525. The return flight, EK236 will leave Chicago at 2035 before touching back down in Dubai International Airport at 1910 the following day.


ANA Finalizes Order for 26 Boeing 777s and 14 787s

Boeing 777-8X & 777-9X
Boeing 777-8X & 777-9X

Boeing and All Nippon Airways (ANA) today finalized an order for 40 widebody airplanes – 20 777-9Xs, 14 787-9 Dreamliners and six 777-300ERs (Extended Range) – as part of the airline’s strategic long-haul fleet renewal plan. The order, valued at approximately $13 billion at list prices, was originally announced as a commitment in March.

“The aircraft we have selected will enable us to modernize and expand our fleet further as we seek to become one of the world’s leading airline groups,” said Shinichiro Ito, president and CEO, ANA Holdings. “These new aircraft will give us maximum flexibility and improved fuel efficiency, and will allow us to meet the growth in demand, both internationally and in our domestic Japanese market.”

ANA, the launch customer of the 787, becomes the world’s largest customer for the Dreamliner with a total of 80 airplanes ordered. The airline currently operates 29 787s with 51 more to deliver, including 43 787-9s.

“This order from ANA demonstrates the strength of our 50-year partnership and we are proud to make history with ANA once again,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “We are honored that ANA has decided to continue operating an all-Boeing widebody fleet that consists of 767s, 787s, 777s and now the new 777X family of airplanes.”

Boeing’s 777X has accumulated 300 orders and commitments from six customers worldwide.

Effort to Secure Malaysia Airline Crash Site Falters in Eastern Ukraine

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777
Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777

An international push to secure the crash site of a Malaysian passenger jet shot down by a missile over eastern Ukraine stalled on Saturday, with the leader of a Dutch forensic mission announcing that scores of foreign police officers and experts gathered at a luxury hotel here would not start moving toward the site for at least five days.

Jan Tuinder, the head of a Dutch mission comprising 40 unarmed military police officers and around 20 forensic specialists, said the delay was needed to give the Ukrainian Parliament time to vote on Thursday to provide a “legal basis” for the deployment of foreign police officers on Ukrainian territory.

Efforts to reach the crash site had previously been hindered by heavily armed pro-Russia rebels, who control the area, but now another obstacle appears to be Ukraine, whose military has been gaining ground against the rebels and is wary of halting its offensive.

The jet, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, crashed in territory in eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russia rebels on July 17, and while most of the bodies of the 298 victims of Flight 17 have now been recovered and flown to the Netherlands for identification, forensic investigators have not been able to reach the area in sufficient numbers to ensure that all the bodies have been found and collect debris that could provide evidence of who brought the plane down. The Netherlands, whose citizens accounted for around two-thirds of the crash victims, is leading an international effort to get to the bottom of what happened to Flight 17.

Officials from the Netherlands and other countries that lost citizens on the Malaysian jet had previously made no mention of any vote by Parliament and instead blamed the rebels for stalling access to the site. On Saturday morning, Dutch police officers assembled in Kharkiv said they expected to leave for the crash area in the next day or so.

But Volodymyr Groysman, a Ukrainian deputy prime minister leading Ukraine’s response to the crash, said at a news conference in Kiev, the capital, on Friday that Parliament needed to endorse the deployment of foreign investigators in Ukraine and that he hoped that this could happen “next week.”


Obama Tells Russia: ‘Allow Full Access to Malaysia MH17 Crash Site’

Barack Obama
Barack Obama

Saying that pro-Russian separatists’ behavior “has no place in the community of nations,” President Barack Obama said on Monday that “the burden is on Russia” to push the separatists to allow unfettered access to the crash site of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.

“We have to make sure that the truth is out and that accountability exists,” he said in remarks at the White House.

“Given its direct influence over the separatists, Russia — and President Putin in particular — has direct responsibility to compel them to cooperate with the investigation,” he added. “That is the least that they can do.”

The international community has ramped up pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin to allow investigators access to the site and the bodies of the nearly 300 victims of last week’s Malaysian Airlines crash. Armed pro-Russian separatists who control the area have “repeatedly” prevented investigators from doing their work, Obama said.

“All of this begs the question: What exactly are they trying to hide?” the president asked.

In a brief statement Monday, Putin said that investigators must have access to the crash site but excoriated unnamed nations for exploiting the jet crash for “mercenary political goals.”