By Ed Attwood
US firm revised schedule from Q1 to Q3, Arab carriers have multibillion-dollar orders outstanding
Boeing has said it plans to deliver its first 787
‘Dreamliner’ aircraft during the third quarter of this year, after delays
forced it to abandon plans to launch it in the first quarter.
The 787, which is the first major airliner to use composite materials for
most of its construction, was originally scheduled for delivery to launch
customer All Nippon Airways in May last year.
However, the landmark jet has been troubled by delays, including the
blow-out of a Rolls-Royce test engine in August last year, followed by an
electrical fire on board a test flight in November.
Boeing said the revised delivery date would allow the US manufacturer time
to produce, install and test updated software and new electrical power
distribution panels in flight test and production aircraft.
It also said that its four test aircraft were now ready to return to
flight, and that the two remaining test jets would able to fly “in the days
“This revised timeline for first delivery accommodates the
work we believe remains to be done to complete testing and certification of the
787,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787
“We’ve also restored some margin in the schedule to allow
for any additional time that may be needed to complete certification
Qatar Airways signed a deal in 2007 to buy 30 787s, with another 30 more on
The Qatari flag-carrier had been seeking deliveries in 2011, but struck an
agreement with Boeing last year to have its first jet scheduled for 2013
The UAE’s Etihad Airways has 35 firm orders for the airline, with 25
options. As with Qatar Airways, its plans for later deliveries have also left
the carrier unaffected.
Elsewhere, Royal Jordanian has ordered 11 787s, four of which will be
leased. The airline expects these to join its fleet in 2013.
That means the Dreamliner is going to be at least three years late, something that was clearly not mentioned in this Boeing press release. The boys at Airbus must be popping the champagne corks because the Boeing schadenfreude at the A380 delays is coming home to bite the Americans big time.