Boeing Commercial Airplanes has a new contract worth up to $18.6 billion at list prices to deliver 42 new 777X aircraft to International Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways. The total includes firm orders for 18 aircraft, plus options for 24 more.
Boeing did not indicate the schedule for the delivery of the new jets.
The 777X is the forthcoming revamped model of the 777 series, a long-range, twin-engine aircraft. As detailed by the OEM, it will seat 400-425 passengers in a standard two-cabin configuration, and has a range 7,600 nmi (14,075 km).
The new 777 adopts some of the technologies incorporated into the 787 Dreamliner, including composite wing structures, to offer 12% lower fuel consumption than competing long-range aircraft.
Counting the new orders, Boeing has logged 358 orders and commitments from eight customers for the 777X. Production of the new jet series has been underway since 2017.
IAG selected the second of two variants of the 777X, the 777-9, which is scheduled to make its first flight in 2Q of this year, and for a commercial debut with Lufthansa in 2020.
British Airways is modernizing one of the largest commercial airline fleets: having introduced the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to replace its medium-sized wide-body jets, it will adopt the 777X to replace its larger wide-body aircraft, mainly four-engine 747s.
BA also is one of the largest commercial operators of the present 777 aircraft, operating almost 60, an orders in place for four more of those models.
"The new 777-9 is the world's most fuel-efficient long-haul aircraft and will bring many benefits to British Airways' fleet,” stated IAG CEO Willie Walsh. “It's the ideal replacement for the 747 and its size and range will be an excellent fit for the airline's existing network.
"This aircraft will provide further cost-efficiencies and environmental benefits with fuel-cost-per-seat improvements of 30%, compared to the 747,” he continued. “It also provides an enhanced passenger experience."