Aerospace & Defense

Why a Boeing 777-9X Costs $377 Million

Boeing 777-9X
Source: The Boeing Co.
The Farnborough International Airshow has so far lived up to expectations for announcements of new orders by the two major passenger aircraft makers, Airbus and Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA). The latest huge order goes into Boeing’s books: Qatar Airways has confirmed an order for 50 of the Boeing 777-9X aircraft that the airline first placed at Dubai Airshow in November when the 777X family was introduced. The value of the order at the current list price of $377 million per plane is $18.9 billion.

In addition to confirming that order, Qatar’s CEO Akbar Al Baker acquired the purchase rights to 50 more of the planes, kicking the total value of the deal up to $37.7 billion. The airline also said it intends to purchase four 777F freighters, together with options on four more. The list price for a 777F is $301 million per copy. Al Baker noted that Qatar Airways has exercised every single purchase right it has ever acquired.

The 777X family of passenger jets includes two versions: the 777-8X that has a capacity of 350 passengers and carries a list price of $349.8 million, and the 777-9X that has capacity for 400 passengers at a list price of $377 million. Based on the company’s highly successful 777 family, the 777X planes add a wing made of the same composite material used for the 787 Dreamliner and will use a new engine from General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) — the GE9X — which the companies say is the most advanced, fuel-efficient commercial engine ever made. The 777X will also use many of the same flight deck technologies used on the 787.

Production of the 777X is scheduled to begin in 2017, and the first delivery to customers is scheduled for 2020. At the end of June, Boeing had orders for 66 of the planes. The Qatar Airways confirmation will add 50 to that number.

Boeing shares were down about 1% at $127.74 in the first hour of trading Wednesday. The stock’s 52-week range is $101.77 to $144.57. The Qatar Airways order had already been baked into the share price, but the new commitment from 50 additional planes has clearly not generated much enthusiasm among investors.

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