Emirates have been waiting for this version of the 777 for years and it's not too hard to see why.
Emirates' main hub, Dubai, is perfectly placed within the globe to take advantage of the growing Far East economies and their insatiable appetite for trade expansion into Europe and the US. Combine this with UAE's forward thinking and drive to grow their own economy has led to the energy and will to see Dubai's airport become a major player in the market.
The 777X will see some major improvements on the current version, most notably it's range. The smaller 8X will have a range of 17,000km which is more than any other airliner flying today. For the fun, I created this range map of the world showing how far a 777X could travel from Emirates' headquarters in Dubai; as you can see there is only a small section in the middle of the south Pacific that the airliner could not reach on one flight. That means they could fly to any city, in any country, on one tank of gas, using the 777X. I don't think that has ever been achieved before by an airline.
|The Boeing 777X Range Map : pretty much covers it all|
Of course there are other advantages to the new 777X, including increased fuel savings, carrying more passengers and the ability to replace four engined airliners such as the 747 and A380. The markets for four engined airliners for the short to mid term are starting to shrink but may pick up in the future.
I can't wait to see if the rumored "largest order" will materialize this November at surprise surprise, the Dubai airshow! How fitting a place for such an announcement...a match made in heaven!