Emirates (EK, Dubai Int'l) is expecting the deliveries of its B777-9s to start in 2022, a year later than formally planned at this moment, Chief Operating Officer Adel Al Redha told Bloomberg.

Al Redha blamed a number of factors on the manufacturer's side, including the delayed first flight, the temporary shutdown of Boeing facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the lengthy certification process.

He added that the carrier was also considering swapping some of its ordered B777Xs for smaller B787 Family jets. According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Emirates currently has fourteen B777-8s, 101 -9s, and thirty B787-9s on firm order from the manufacturer.

"We will be discussing with Boeing in that regard, if we look what we can do with the B787. We are in a fluid discussion and in the peak of re-examining all these kind of things. It does require re-examination, it does require re-thinking, it does require renegotiation," Al Redha said.

Emirates is the largest confirmed customer of the B777X Family with more than a third of all orders for the family attributed to the Emirati carrier. As of May 31, 2020, Boeing has amassed 309 firm orders for the family. Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt Int'l) and Qatar Airways (QR, Doha Hamad Int'l), which have twenty and sixty units on firm order, respectively, were vying to be the launch customers prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, in an interview with BBC, Emirates' Chairman Tim Clark for the first time confirmed that the carrier would be shedding as many as 9,000 staff or around 15% of its total workforce.