Being EK they will probably get both, (especially with 343s to replace) but remember long and thin is not what they want all the time - remember this is the airline pushing for A380-900! EK likes piling high and selling cheap.
Boeing in for the long haul with 777 A correspondent in Everett, Washington February 17, 2005
BOEING yesterday unveiled a long-range version of its 777 commercial airliner, which the company said could fly from London to Sydney, making it the world's longest-range commercial aircraft.
With the launch of the new 777-200LR long-range "Worldliner", Boeing is hoping to attract airlines that will ferry passengers directly between multiple points.
The new 301-passenger 777 is expected to make its first flight in March. It will be delivered to Pakistan International Airlines, its launch customer, in January 2006.
The twin-engine aircraft could fly 17,500km when equipped with three optional fuel tanks. This was enough to "connect any two cities in the world today", said Lars Andersen, Boeing's vice president in charge of the 777 program at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
"This is the longest-range airplane in the world," Mr Andersen told reporters at Boeing's Everett plant, where the jumbo 747 and 767 planes are also built.
Even with a full-passenger payload in a typical three-class configuration, the 777-200LR would be able to connect cities as far-flung as Los Angeles and Johannesburg, London and Sydney, and New York and Jakarta, Boeing said.
There's a hitch, though. Although the plane can fly from London to Sydney, it will have to stop once to refuel when returning on the same route since it will be flying against high-altitude jet streams going back.
The 777-200LR would compete directly with Airbus's A340-600 and A340-500, but had seat-mile costs 15-18 per cent lower than those models, Boeing said.
Boeing is basing its 777 Freighter cargo plane on the 777-200LR that can carry 101 tonnes of cargo. The planes are powered by two General Electric GE90-115B engines, which the company claims to be the world's most powerful commercial jet engine, with 115,000 pounds of thrust. Boeing is betting that airlines will be buying more mid-size jetliners in the same class as the 777 and its newest model, the 787, to ferry passengers between multiple cities, rather than gathering them at big airport hubs and carrying them on larger planes.
The 787, formerly called the 7E7, is also aimed at ferrying passengers from point to point at a much lower operating cost, and is expected to take to the skies in 2008.
Boeing's main rival, Airbus, which last year became the world's largest commercial jet manufacturer, is betting that people will continue to travel through its major airport hubs with its superjumbo A380 aircraft.
This seems more suited - depending on whether QF still exists in any recognisable guise in 4 years.
I cannot help but feel many an A380 option will not be exercised in favour of this machine.
WRT Hub and Spoke OPS - that is becoming the achilles heel of the legacy carriers is it not? Optimum crew / other resource allocation principle just do not work with a large H&S configuration. Direct city pairs are proving much more efficient. See Southwest in the US for proof. And AMR/AAL for proof the other way.