MIAMI – Emirates Airlines (EK) CEO Sir Tim Clark was candid in a recent interview about the Boeing 777x, stating that the Dubai-based airline would refuse deliveries of the jet if it doesn’t meet contractual performance commitments.

“We will not accept an [aircraft] unless it is performing 100% to contract,” Clark said, speaking in a pre-recorded interview for the Arabian Travel Market trade show. Clark added that Boeing had been running test flights of the 777x since 2020, but no performance details of the jet’s engines have been sent to him.

"Unless [the 777x] is doing what [Boeing] said it would do and contracted, we will not take that aeroplane." Tim Clark, Emirates CEO Click To Tweet

Clark’s opinion holds considerable weight among aircraft manufacturers. He is the CEO of one of the world’s biggest long-haul airlines, which operates around 140 Boeing 777-300 and 115 Airbus A380 aircraft. EK already has 126 777x’s on order.

An Emirates Boeing 777-31H(ER) on approach. | Credits: Alberto Cucini/Airways

A Delayed 2024 Delivery Date

In addition to uncertainty surrounding the plane’s safety, Clark also expressed his belief that EK won’t receive any 777x aircraft until 2024. This, despite Boeing’s projection that the planes would be delivered by 2023.

“There are issues on that plane,” he said, adding, “I’m not altogether clear as to when we’re going to get them.” This adds a wrinkle to another problem EK faces: replacing their current fleet of Boeing 777-300 planes.

Boeing has not commented on Clark’s statements, and neither has General Electric, the company producing the plane’s engines. Clark says he has spoken with Boeing executives on several occasions, and has expressed the belief that a “culture change” within the organization is in order following the disastrous launch of the Boeing 737-MAX.

Featured image: Boeing 777X Roll-Out. Photo: Wikimedia, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic