• By The Financial District


Boeing Co. is preparing to delay its all-new 777X jet by several months or up to a year, three people familiar with the matter said, as the COVID-19 crisis exacerbates a drop in demand for the industry’s largest jetliners, Eric M. Johnson and Tim Hepher reported for Reuters on July 25, 2020.

Boeing hopes to bring the jet to market as passenger travel rebounds after a downturn caused by the pandemic. It would also hope for a detente in a trade war between Washington and Beijing, which has sidelined crucial Chinese aircraft buyers.

But stretching out the development opens up fresh risks for Boeing, such as losing engineering attention and momentum, and tougher scrutiny from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) during the years-long certification process.

Delay could also cause problems in Boeing’s supply chain. An announcement of the delay could come as early as next week when Boeing announces earnings, one of the people said. Boeing declined to comment on the 777X timeline. It said it was continuing flight tests and “working closely with our customers around the world as they continue to adapt to the evolving COVID-19 situation.”