Irked with 787 Dreamliner delays Boeing loyalist, JAL, may switch to Airbus: report

Tokyo: Japan Airlines Corp (JAL), a dedicated Boeing customer, may hedge its bets and opt for some mid-sized Airbus A350 XWB planes, according to media reports. Reports, quoting company sources, say that JAL is now unsure how Boeing 787's continuous production delays will pan out in the future.

Boeing's second announcement of a delay with the prestigious 787 Dreamliner programme was received with dismay by the industry, particularly first-in-line customers, as their immediate plans to phase-out planes and rework route networks went into disarray.

Boeing announced a second delay for the 787 last month, postponing initial deliveries to early 2009.

JAL, which operates an all-Boeing fleet, had planned to buy 55 787 Dreamliners hoping to save on parts replacement, maintenance and pilot training. Now, reports suggest, JAL plans may have changed.

The 787 Dreamliner is one of the industry's most successful airliner launches with a total order of 857 planes already, worth $140 billion at list prices.

Launch customer, Japan's All Nippon Airways, Australia's Qantas and Air India have all said they will consider seeking compensation.