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Sun 4 May 2008 02:23 PM

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Boeing denies further delay to Dreamliner

Aircraft maker says no truth to report 2012 deliveries will be pushed back by 27 months.

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has denied a German media report it had informed customers of a fresh delay on its 787 Dreamliner.

German daily Die Welt reported on Saturday, quoting a letter from Boeing to customers, the delay would affect deliveries planned for 2012 and push them 27 months behind schedule.

A US-based spokesperson for Boeing told newswire Reuters there had been no change since the last delay announcement in April.

The delay had placed deliveries on average 20 months behind schedule, the spokesperson said.

Boeing announced in April the third major delay on the 787 due to slow progress on assembling the plane and continued struggles with underperforming suppliers.

However most Gulf carriers who with Dreamliners on order said at the time they were largely unaffected by the delay due to later delivery dates.

RELATED: Gulf carriers largely unaffected by Boeing delay

State-owned Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) and Bahrain's Gulf Air said at the time their deliveries were not due until 2016.

Other Middle East buyers of the 787 include Qatar Airways and Kuwait Aviation Lease and Finance Company (Alafco).

None of the airlines that have bought the plane have cancelled their orders, but many have said they will seek compensation for late deliveries.

More than 50 airlines are waiting for 892 Boeing 787s, worth a combined $145 billion at list prices.

Boeing unveiled the aircraft in July last year. The 787 is made up of 50% carbon composite materials and another 15% titanium, making it much lighter and more fuel efficient than existing aircraft of the same size.

RELATED: Boeing unveils 787 Dreamliner

The Dreamliner delay mirrors the long running wiring problems on Airbus' A380 superjumbo, which ended up two years late and put a big hole in the finances of parent EADS.

Both Boeing and Airbus have played down expectations for plane orders this year, after the unprecedented boom that resulted in 2,754 orders between them last year.

Most analysts are expecting about half that number this year.

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