The 350 seat 777-8X has exciting potential for many airlines needing fills for seasonal campaigns such as trans-traveling the globe on any seasonal schedule. An Air New Zealand snippet in today's news cycle has hit on a place for the 777-8X. The "Travel Talk" is quoted as:
Air New Zealand...
"The airline currently operates a 302 seat Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft on the year round route with flights between 3-4 times weekly. From late September 2017 until early March 2018 the route will be upgraded to a 312 seat Boeing 777-200ER for the majority of flights, with the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner continuing to supplement it."
There it is, a place for the 777-8X. It seats about 350 and really goes the distance. Air New Zealand could expand operations with 787-9's and then move a seasonal route in by using the 777-8X. The interesting observation for any two tier aircraft venture become an attractive concept using a variety of wide body frames. The 787-9 is great for intercontinental travel and the 777-8X becomes the pinch hitter chasing seasonal surges. The 777-8X is in the up to 8,000 mile range. It can chase the seasons anywhere on the globe and fill the cabin with 350 holiday passengers. Air New Zealand must be looking at the 777-8X if it uses the 777-200 currently for junkets.
However, the Air New Zealand offering is not a one off situation while many other airlines could expand using a combo of the 787-9, and then reposition with a 777-8X in an ever changing seasonal clientele. Once an airline can position the ultra-long range behemoth for Canadian summers and then broad the expanse of the Pacific winters, the route switching and utility of the 777-8X becomes a preferred tool in the market place travel kits.
Air New Zealand unconsciously placed the 777-200 into its rotation so it also means other Airlines have similar strategies in play. The 777-200 is a useful tool and the 777-8X is a dashing experience cross broad expanses chasing the seasons.