The Boeing 777 in my personal opinion is the aircraft that in the 30 years has changed the most the way and standards of flying. This aircraft type is the one that brought high capacity to the twin engine plane market.
How The Boeing 777 Changed Aviation
Before the launch of the 777 in 1995 most high capacity flights had to be operated by less efficient and fuel hungry 747s on tri-jets. Once the Boeing 777 entered service, all the more when the 777-300ER entered service, the paradigms of flight changed forever.
Airbus who had bet against on the ETOPS extensions had spend most of the’80s developing the 4 engined A340 family and the much smaller A330 found itself chasing Boeing in the high capacity aircraft market segment.
Which Are The Existing Boeing 777 Variants?
Currently 5 passenger variants of the largest Boeing twin jet exist, with 1 freighter variant also created. The passenger variants so far produced by the American plane manufacturer are:
The first variant to enter service was the Boeing 777-200 in May 1995 flying for United Airlines, followed by the 777-200ER and the 777-300.
The 777F on the other hand is the freighter variant of the twin engine jet.
Which Is The Most Popular 777 Variant?
Without a doubt the most common variant, and most appreciated by airlines, is the 777-300ER. Boeing racked in 837 orders for this particular variant, almost double the orders received for the second favourite variant, the 777-200ER.
The Boeing 777-300ER offers the perfect compromise between fuel efficiency, capacity and range. It’s no surprise that this has become the go to plane for many airlines’ long range routes and operations.
Which Variant Has The Longest Range?
The crown for the variant with the longest range doesn’t go to the 300ER variant as some might imagine. That is a title that goes to the smaller 200LR variant. The 200LR is capable is covering up to 15,843Km (or 8,555 miles) with full tanks in ideal conditions. However the extra range comes at a cost.
Boeing increased this variant’s range by fitting it with significantly larger tanks and not by making it more efficient. That means that the plane is capable of carrying a smaller payload. Therefore, with prices of fuel on the rise after it’s launch in 2006, it struggled to win over airline orders that preferred the 200ER variant despite its shorter range.
Which Variant Of the 777 Will Be Produced in The Future?
The future of the Boeing 777 project lays with the 777X programme. Boeing has been working for 10 for just around 10 years now on two new variants of this huge twin engined success:
Unfortunately though the project has been plagued with delays due to design issues faced by the manufacturer. At the moment the new Boeing 777x has only flown on test flights and exhibition flights, such as the 2023 Paris air show. The new planes where initially planned to have their first deliveries in 2022 and 2023, that deadline was pushed forward to 2025.
Which Airline Has The Largest 777 Fleet?
There are some airlines that really fell in love with the Boeing 777, as it perfectly suited their existing operations and networks. At the moment the airlines that use the largest number of 777 are:
Emirates is by far the biggest user of the Boeing 777 worldwide. The aircraft is the perfect fit for its operations. It generally serves those airports the Airbus A380 cannot fly to or routes with a lower demand. While remaining in the Gulf region, Qatar Airways hasn’t been able to make the aircraft type work as well as EK and has opted for smaller planes as the A350 and the 787 Dreamliner.
In the US United airlines is the largest user of the Boeing 777 while in Europe the largest operator is Air France.