Global aerospace and defence major, Boeing, suffered a big blow to its prestige on Wednesday, after being forced to concede that its flagship programme, the 787 Dreamliner, would suffer a delay of up to seven months. As per the new schedule, first deliveries of the Dreamliner will now be made sometime in late November or December 2008 instead of May 2008, as earlier envisaged.
The launch customer is Japan's All Nippon Airways.
The 787 Dreamliner is without doubt the most successful new jet programme ever in aviation history - if one were to just consider the volume of orders placed for the aircraft. A whopping 710 Dreamliners are already on order even before the aircraft has made its first flight.
John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer (customers), was the first one to openly express his doubts about Boeing's delivery plans (See: Airbus COO: Boeing's 787 Dreamliner may face delays). Boeing's setback now follows on the back of the debacle suffered by Airbus, its European rival, which was forced to push back deliveries of its A380 super jumbo by two years.
Airbus is due to make the first delivery of the A380 to launch customer Singapore Airlines coming Monday, nineteen months behind schedule.
According to Boeing, the Dreamliner is facing assembly problems owing to "continued challenges" in its supply chain.