Boeing on Wednesday announced a third delay in delivery of the 787 Dreamliner medium-size long-haul aircraft, saying the aircraft will now be ready in late 2009. It cited supply and assembly problems for the latest postponement.
At the time of its unveiling last year Boeing had forecast a May 2008 delivery for its launch customer, ANA of Japan.
The 787 is expected to become the backbone of long-haul fleets of airlines around the world, replacing the Boeing 767 and also the venerable 747 jumbo. The latest forecast delivery date for the third quarter of 2009, according to Boeing, delays delivery by an average of 15 to 18 months.
"We are extremely disappointed," ANA said in its statement. "We still have no details about the full delivery schedule. We would urge Boeing to provide us with a 120 percent definitive schedule as soon as possible."
A t their end, Boeing officials expressed confidence about their new target date. "Our revised schedule is built upon an achievable, high-confidence plan for getting us to our power-on and first-flight milestones," said Scott Carson, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and chief executive.
A report by The Seattle Times has suggested that though aircraft manufacturer Boeing has estimated a 15-month delay in the deliveries of the 787 Dreamliner, some customers may face delays of two years or more. It said Boeing's ambitious ramp-up plans have slipped and full production of 10 planes per month may not be reached until 2012, two years later than planned.
According to the paper, the ILFC, which is the largest customer for the 787, has been advised by the manufacturer that it will have to wait an average of 27 months for its aircraft. It cited a 8 May regulatory filing from ILFC parent, AIG, as its source.
Boeing officials have confirmed that average delay of first delivery for all 58 Dreamliner customers is working out to about 20 months.