Friday, August 7, 2015

Boeing Says 747 No Longer Its Biggest Jet

The famed Boeing 747 is no longer the company's biggest passenger jet, dethroned by the 777 -- the Boeing 777-9X, to be precise.

This is all according to a new set of statistics recently released by the company, updating the technical specifications that it advertises to potential buyers of its jets. Boeing has tweaked its various aircraft seat capacities and flight ranges to better reflect how airlines are actually using them.

For example, Boeing noticed that these days, airlines often buy planes configured to carry just two classes of passengers (business and economy).

In response, Boeing has cut the expected flight range on its 787 Dreamliners by a few hundred miles. The reason: increased fuel consumption due to the greater weight occupied by business class passengers enjoying heavier "lie-flat" seats -- and also the larger number of bodies in coach.

And where did those additional passengers come from? The elimination of one class of seating apparently increased space available for coach seats.

Recognizing this, Boeing upped the seat counts on its largest planned 777 widebody jet, the 777-9X. Once that plane begins entering into service after 2020, Boeing says airlines can expect to accommodate 425 passengers -- 15 more than can fit aboard a Boeing 747-8.

That is good news for Boeing, which can now advertise its planes as costing less per seat (as the number of likely seats increases but the cost of the plane is unchanged), presumably making the planes look cheaper and more attractive to buyers.

For close-pressed travelers, fated to share those seats with ever more fellow travelers crammed into coach, the news is presumably something less than positive.


No comments: