Deliveries Delayed Over Two Years For Smaller Carriers
Boeing's announcement last month of a third delay to its 787
Dreamliner program sent several carriers scrambling to compensate
for delivery delays that could stretch as long as 30 months,
according to a recent report by The Seattle Times.
As ANN reported, Boeing
announced April 9 it had pushed the first 787-8 delivery, to All
Nippon Airways, to the third quarter of 2009 -- a delay of 16
months past the original target delivery date, which was this
Instead of delivering the first customer bird into ANA's eager
hands, however, the first Dreamliner has yet to even fly... or be
powered-on, for that matter. Boeing says the "on" switch for the
first flying 787 should be flipped by the end of June.
Despite the long delay ANA must now contend with, that airline
is getting off easy compared with carriers that ordered their 787s
closer to the end of Boeing's 857-plane order book. They may not
receive their planes until 30 months after the delivery dates
originally promised, according to Boeing's revised delivery
schedule that pegs Dreamliner production reaching 10 planes per
month in 2012... two years later than planned.
Even Boeing's largest 787 customer -- leasing giant
International Lease Finance Corp. -- will have to wait some 27
months for their planes, according to a recent regulatory filing.
That pushes ILFC's first 787 delivery until sometime in 2012; it
will receive the last of its 74 planes in 2019.
Industry analyst Scott Hamilton termed Boeing's revised schedule
"a cascading ripple effect that delays everything downstream." For
Air Canada, with 37 Dreamliners on order, perhaps a more apt
analogy would involve things rolling downhill.
In a conference call this week, CEO Montie Brewer said he plans
to hit Boeing where it hurts most -- in its pocketbook -- in
seeking compensation for the late planes. "We were counting on
those aircraft, especially in an environment where you have high
fuel prices," said Brewer. "Now they are delayed and we are going
to have to manage through it with aircraft that have higher (fuel)
Boeing spokeswoman Yvonne Leach says average 787 delays work out
to about 20 months on the revised schedule, which is based on the
assumption of 10 a month" in 2012. "If we can go above that, great,
then we'll do what we can for the customer. But right now, we want
to commit to something we know we can do. We don't want to risk
disappointing them with any assumptions that we can go up in rate
at a later time."
Three smaller 787 customers -- the UK's Monarch, Royal
Jordanian, and LAN Chile -- say they've been told by Boeing to
enter a holding pattern for two years... but at least they
now know what to expect, analyst Hamilton notes.
"In some ways they are probably relieved to finally know what
the number is," he said. "Now they can plan."