Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt International) is expecting another delay in the delivery of its first B777-9 and is now preparing to have the first unit in service for the Summer 2026 season "at the earliest", CEO Jens Ritter has said.

"We no longer believe that we will get the first aircraft in 2025," he conceded during a press conference. "If EASA certification isn't even on the agenda, then we don't think the plane will be delivered in 2025."

Boeing maintains that the first B777-9 delivery will take place in 2025 and continues to insist on this date in conversations with Lufthansa, Ritter revealed. The manufacturer has yet to obtain the type inspection authorisation (TIA), a document marking the start of flight testing. Ritter said that his understanding was that Boeing would have needed to have the TIA by April 2024 at the latest to have any reasonable chance of sticking to the 2025 delivery plan.

The German carrier's management will visit Boeing on May 9 to discuss the progress of the programme. The German carrier has a firm order for twenty B777-9s and seven B777-8Fs and is expected to be the launch customer of the type alongside Emirates, which also expects a delay until 2026.

"We are following the lead of the FAA as we work through the certification process including obtaining approval from the FAA to begin certification flight testing. We expect the first delivery of the B777-9 to occur in 2025 and the B777-8F to occur in 2027. First delivery of the B777-8 passenger aircraft is not expected to occur before 2030," the manufacturer said in its first quarter 2024 financial report.

When first announced in 2013, the B777X was targeted for entry into service in 2019.