Boeing 787 Dreamliner faces fourth (and final ?) delivery date, extended production dates, financing problems
The Wall Street Journal report today that Boeing (currently they are "reviewing schedules" ) will delay first deliveries of the 787 Dreamliner by at least six months. The current schedule is for initial deliveries to commence Q3 2009 but it faces many niggling production problems not least of which is the weight but also man and time absorbing software glitches and shoddy work from their many overseas and US based suppliers.
Boeing officials are expected to announce later this month that first deliveries may not occur until summer 2010, more than two years after the jet was originally scheduled to enter service.
Another delay would mark the fourth time that Boeing would have to tell the customers holding orders for almost 900 of the planes that it will be late. Each time, Boeing officials have made nice noises and assured customers and investors that the new schedule would be reliable, only to be subsequently surprised by new problems.
Dreamliner delays have also impacted the update to the 747 jumbo jet and serious problems of faulty fasteners on the 737 production line have caused huge problems, delays and lost production time.
In a recent interview, Virgin Atlantic Airways Chief Executive Steve Ridgeway voiced customers' growing frustration. "We're pretty fed up," he said. "We've got no clarity from Boeing."
Virgin was originally due to receive its first Dreamliner in 2011, but "we don't know how long the delay is now," Mr. Ridgeway said. He referred to the Dreamliner as "the world's rarest airplane."
There is a serious risk for Boeing that a further delay will also seriously upset customer airlines, leading to deferrals of orders or outright cancellations. The airlines most affected are those at the front of the line for 787 deliveries, Japan's All Nippon Airways , their rival Japan Airlines Corp and U.S. airlines Northwest, now part of Delta Air Lines Inc, and Continental Airlines Inc.
Expect a company jet to visit Washington real soon now and Boeing executives to demand plead for Federal funds as the recession hits air travel and the capacity of their customers to fund new planes .
Meanwhile here is a picture Toni Fabuloso took on board Lord Patel's personal Airbus 380 on our way to the opening of the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai ...
Jim Cramers stock picks Boeing (BA): "Boeing is the most worrisome stock in the Dow right now. I think they have nothing cooking over there, I say sell, sell, sell."