Boeing quietly unveiled the $442 million airliner that will replace the 747 jumbo jet
- The Boeing 777X was unveiled on March 13 in a private employee-only event.
- The 777X is destined to serve as Boeing's new flagship and as the replacement for the iconic 747 jumbo jet.
- The 777X comes in two variants, the $410.2 million 777-8 and $442.2 million 777-9.
- The jet is expected to enter service with launch customer Emirates in 2020.
Wednesday, March 13 was supposed to be a media bonanza for Boeing. The aviation giant was set to unveil its next great wide-body jetliner. One that is destined to serve as its flagship for decades to come and finally the replace the legendary 747 jumbo jet.
That day, the attention of the world's press was indeed trained upon Boeing. Unfortunately, it was for all the wrong reason.Three days earlier, Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 crashed shortly after taking off from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. All 157 passengers and crew on board the Boeing 737 Max 8 died. It was the second nearly brand-new 737 Max 8 to crash under strikingly similar circumstances. By Wednesday morning, the public uproar following the crash saw more than 50 regulatory agencies and airlines around the world ground or even outright ban the plane. That afternoon, the Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency order that grounded the 737 Max in the US as well.
What was supposed to be a day of celebration for Boeing instead became one of the darkest days in the company's history.
The media junket was scrapped and instead, the first 777X prototype was introduced in a private ceremony reserved for employees.
With that said, the unfortunate circumstances surrounding its unveiling does not diminish the importance of the new Boeing 777X. Here's a closer look.
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