Boeing 777-300ER (extended range) have been the work horse for many airlines around the world since it’s introduction in 2004. It has a maximum range of 7,825 nautical miles (14,492 km), a maximum cargo hold of 7,640 cu ft (216 m3) or 44× LD3 and a passenger capacity of up to 550 in a one class configuration though most are used in a 3 to 4 class configuration seating around 350 passengers. This post introduces this variant with focus on passenger and range comparisons and new routes being planned by different airlines.
The Boeing 777-300ER continues the evolution of the 777 series starting with the 777-200 first introduced in 1995 by United Airlines. The major difference between both variants is that the length has been increased by approximately 25% (209 feet 1 inch to 242 feet 4 inch or 63.7 meter to 73.9 meter). The additional length and engine modifications help increase maximum range to 7,825nm (3 class configuration). This creates a balance between serving more destinations with more passengers. The 772LR (long-range) could fly up to 9,395nm but can only hold 314 passengers. Refer to the following diagram for the dimensions between 777 variants and infographic of their range and maximum passenger load.
The Boeing 777-300ER compares favourably with other Boeing in particular the 747-400 and 747-8 which have higher operating costs due to their 4 engines design and a heavier frame. It has a much longer range and can carry more passengers can the 757s and 767s. These variants are used for much shorter routes (from N. America to Europe or Europe to Middle East). In a future entry, we will compare the 777 with the 787 and how airlines can effectively use both (refer to our post on the Boeing 787).
Against Airbus’ products, The 777-300ER compares well with the aging A330 and A340 family aircrafts. Specifically, the A330 lacks the range and passenger load of the 777-300ER while the A340 has a higher operating cost with 4 engines while carrying less passengers.
The A350-900 aircraft that was introduced by Qatar Airways (refer to our coverage) competes more directly with the 787 then the 777 as it carries less passenger. The A380-800 is the largest aircraft currently being operated commercially. The Boeing 777-300ER does not beat this aircraft on passenger load or range. However, it is more agile for airlines with less demand and has a lower cost to operate. The A380-800 competes more with Boeing’s 747-400 and 747-8 directly.
There are currently 70 airlines(group) using this aircraft currently (refer to link). Greater than 50% of the world’s ten airlines (by revenue, passenger carried or fleet size) flies with this aircraft with the biggest operator being Emirates (65),GE Capital Aviation Services (GEACS) (37), Cathay Pacific Airways (36) and Air France (32), and International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) (28).
Of the top 20 busiest airports by passengers (refer to the blog entry), only Denver International Airport (DEN)[No.15] does not currently have any Boeing 777-300ER service. DEN is a hub for United Airlines (UA) which does not have any 777-300ER in its fleet.
Many airlines are now using this aircraft type to manage their international operations with. Boeing will continue to market this aircraft as a replacement for older planes. Refer to the following links for our coverage on the Boeing 777-300ER.
Future Routes Using the Boeing 777-300ER – we will look into future routes announced by world’s airlines using this aircraft
American Airlines Reducing New York to London Capacity – we will look into AA’s reduction of first class capacity by replacing its 777-300ER with the refurbished 777-200ER.