Finally, good news for Boeing: Its new jetliner took off, flew, and landed without a hitch. A crowd watched the Boeing 777X (also called the 777-9 and 777-9X) complete its maiden flight north of Seattle on Saturday morning, Reuters reports. But the world's biggest twin-engined jetliner still requires FAA approval, which—after the 737 MAX crashed twice, killing all on board—will likely be rigorous. "The certification process is a new one and it's going to get applied to every next airplane, so we have ... to make sure that we can accommodate a really thorough review and investigation," Boeing CEO David Calhoun tells the Wall Street Journal. "It's just the way it's going to be."
Boeing is hoping for a boost after the 737 MAX grounding cost the company bigtime; experts estimate billions in losses and up to half point in GDP for the entire US economy short-term. Boeing says it has sold 309 777Xs at $442 million each, but possible snags await. For one, CNN asks whether the huge 406-seater is just too big for a market in which smaller planes are growing in popularity and carriers are bypassing hubs for more point-to-point service. What's more, Middle East carriers have already trimmed back their orders. "Longer-term, they'll need more than those guys for that airplane," says the CEO of leasing giant AerCap. "They'll need the big network carriers to find routes that it works on." (Read more Boeing stories.)