AMERICAS: Dreamliner nightmare trickles down

Boeing has said the 787 Dreamliner won’t reach customers until the first quarter of 2010, almost two years behind schedule and the fourth delay for the bestselling new aircraft in the planemaker’s history. The 787, unveiled in July 2007, was due to enter service with All Nippon Airways Co. in May this year. The jet […]


Boeing has said the 787 Dreamliner won’t reach customers until the first quarter of 2010, almost two years behind schedule and the fourth delay for the bestselling new aircraft in the planemaker’s history. The 787, unveiled in July 2007, was due to enter service with All Nippon Airways Co. in May this year.

The jet won’t fly for the first time until next year’s second quarter, in part because production lines were idled for 58-day by a machinists’ strike and some fasteners had to be replaced, according to Boeing. The company also shifted managers and created a new position to monitor operations by suppliers, who were blamed for previous delays.

But fallout from the 787 production problems and the machinists’ strike has also impacted two freighter production schedules – the 777F which was supposed to be delivered to Air France Cargo in December and the 747-8F which was scheduled for delivery to Cargolux in late 2009. The 747-8F also faced its own unique supply chain problems which were a key factor in its delays.

The B777F is now shifted to a mid-2009 delivery date while the B747-8 won’t be delivered until third quarter of 2010. First delivery of the 747-8 Intercontinental, a passenger variant struggling to attract orders, dropped from late 2010 to the second quarter of 2011.