Chronology of widebody airliners (7)
= October 7, 1996 =
The Boeing 777-200ER (Extended Range) makes its first flight.
= February 6, 1997 =
The first 777-200ER is delivered to British Airways. Three days later the airplane enters commercial service, flying from London to Boston.
= April 28, 1997 =
The Boeing board of directors formally approves the launch of the stretched 767-400ER.
= June 15, 1997 =
Airbus announces the 'commercial launch' of the Airbus A340-600 and -500 at the Paris Air Show.
= August 1, 1997 =
Virgin Atlantic Airways and Air Canada announce the intention to become launch customers for the A340-600 and -500.
= August 13, 1997 =
The Airbus A330-200 flies for the first time. The flight lasts 4 hours and 10 minutes.
= October 16, 1997 =
The 777-300 makes its first flight. The flight takes 4 hours and 6 minutes.
= December 8, 1997 =
Airbus formally launches the A340-600 and -500.
= March 11, 1998 =
Boeing delivers the first two 767 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) airplanes to the government of Japan.
= March 31, 1998 =
JAA and Transport Canada certify the first, GE CF6-powered variant of the Airbus A330-200.
= May 4, 1998 =
The FAA and JAA grant type certification to the 777-300. The FAA also approves the airplane for 180-minutes ETOPS.
= May 22, 1998 =
The first 777-300 is delivered to Cathay Pacific. The airline inaugurates its new airplane into service on May 27, 1998, flying from Hong Kong to Taipei, Taiwan.
= 29 May 1998 =
The first A330-200 (CF-6 powered) enters service with Canada 3000. The aircraft is leased from launch customer ILFC.
= July 6, 1999 =
General Electric's GE90 derivative engine is selected as the sole power plant for the proposed longer-range derivatives of the 777.
= August 10, 1999 =
Major assembly begins on first 747-400 Freighter to be used as platform for U.S. Air Force's Airborne Laser program.
= October 9, 1999 =
The first Boeing First 767-400ER completes its first flight. The aircraft is in the air for 5 hours and 5 minutes.
= February 29, 2000 =
The Boeing board of directors approves the formal launch of two longer-range derivatives of the 777, the 777-200LR (Longer Range) and 777-300ER (Extended Range).
= July 20, 2000 =
The 767-400ER receives certification approval from the FAA as well as type design approval for 180-minute ETOPS.
= July 24, 2000 =
Emirates becomes the first customer for the Airbus A380 (still named A3XX).
Airbus intends to build the biggest airliner in the world. (Photo: Airbus)
= August 11, 2000 =
Boeing delivers the first 767-400ER to Delta Air Lines. It begins commercial service in October.
= September 15, 2000 =
Continental Airlines makes the first commercial flight with the Boeing 767-400ER, from Newark to Orlando.
= November 28, 2000 =
Boeing launches the Longer-Range 747-400, with an order from Qantas.
= December 19, 2000 =
Airbus officially launches the A380, formerly known as A3XX.