Boeing has a million reasons to crow
about their B777 ETOPS capabilities. They have confirmed to ANN
that the 777 jetliner fleet has completed its 1 millionth flight
under ETOPS Regs. Based on reported and projected 777 fleet data,
Boeing estimated the 1 millionth 777 ETOPS flight occurred on May
"The 1 millionth 777 ETOPS flight is a result of our
point-to-point product strategy to develop airplanes that fly
people directly where they want to go," said Larry Loftis, vice
president-general manager, 777 Program, Boeing Commercial
"Early in its development we set out on a deliberate path to
make the 777 the first airplane to enter service ready to fly ETOPS
Under ETOPS regulations, airplanes are allowed to fly
long-distance routes that take far them from the nearest airport.
The 777 was designed specifically to have the reliability and
redundancy to safely traverse those long-distance routes governed
by extended operations rules. The 777 was also the first
twin-engine airplane to fly routes over the new North Polar Routes
between the U.S. and Asia that began in 2000.
"Following the success of 767 ETOPS flights, the 777 has further
proven the safety and reliability of twin-engine airplanes for
long-haul flights," said Loftis.
"Today, Boeing twin-engine airplanes serve the majority of
routes that cross the Atlantic and they are beginning to dominate
routes across the Pacific as well."
The introduction of the 777 has helped lead to an increase in
trans-Pacific routes that connect city pairs with nonstop service.
Since 1995, city pairs served with direct trans-Pacific routes have
increased by about 50 percent.
For passengers, ETOPS provides them the direct, nonstop flights
they prefer, in addition to more flight options and greater choice
in travel times, Loftis added.
The journey to reach 1 million ETOPS flights for the 777 began
with its entry into service on June 7, 1995. The first
revenue-generating flight for the 777 was a trans-Atlantic ETOPS
flight by United Airlines. To date, the 777 fleet has accumulated a
total of more than 14 million flight hours, the majority on ETOPS
flights. The 767 is the only other twin-engine airplane to surpass
1 million ETOPS flights, reaching that milestone in April 1998.
In February 2007, the FAA enacted ETOPS regulations to update
and codify existing rules and best practices and extend ETOPS
standards to three- and four-engine airplanes. The new regulations
also shift the basis of ETOPS approvals to the designed and
certified capabilities of the airplane itself, setting the stage
for properly configured and approved twinjets to fly optimal
routings between virtually any two cities on earth. Boeing has
stated that its objective is to certify some versions of the 777
and 787 to 330-minute ETOPS.