Even as a top Boeing executive has asserted that the troubled Boeing 787 Dreamliner will conduct its first flight by December this year, TUI Travel, Europe's biggest tour operator, announced yesterday that it had arrived at an understanding with the Chicago-headquartered company to cancel10 of 23 firm orders for the aircraft. It said this followed after "...extensive discussions with Boeing."
"This optimizes the flexibility around our long-haul capacity," TUI said in a statement, adding that it now expects to take delivery of its first Dreamliner in "early 2012."
Manchester-based First Choice Airways, part of TUI's travel division, originally was due to receive its first 787 in February 2009. This was later postponed, with first delivery slotted for March 2011.
The TUI Travel cancellations bring the number of axed Dreamliner orders this year to a stunning 86.