Boeing reportedly considers stretching 777 to knock out Airbus A380 jet
Boeing is proposing to stretch its largest 777 model to create a twin-engine behemoth aimed at delivering a knockout blow to Airbus Group’s struggling A380 superjumbo jet, said people familiar with its plans.
The U.S. planemaker has approached several carriers about the plane it calls the 777-10X, including Emirates Airline, the world’s largest operator of both Boeing’s 777 and Airbus’s double-decker aircraft, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.
The proposed model would carry about 450 travelers, sharpening its rivalry with the A380, two of the people said. To do so, Boeing would stretch the frame of its 777-9 to squeeze in about four extra rows of seats. The -9, whose debut is slated for decade’s end, will be the first twin-engine model to encroach on jumbo territory by hauling more than 400 passengers.
“We are always evaluating technologies, airplane configurations and market needs,” said Doug Alder, a Boeing spokesman. “While no decisions have been made, we will continue to study 777X derivatives and seek customer input to develop products that provide the most value for customers.”