Airline CEO Expects First Plane In May 2008
Boeing has assured Mineo Yamamoto, president and chief executive
of Japan's All Nippon Airways, that the long-awaited Dreamliner is
on track to arrive on time.
Boeing executives, from Chairman and Chief Executive Jim
McNerney on down, have emphatically said the program will meet that
all-important commitment to its launch customer for the
"There has been no talk about delays or anything like that,"
Yamamoto said in an interview Monday in Copenhagen, Denmark with
the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
After a series of proving flights, Yamamoto said, the airline
will probably start passenger service with the plane within a
couple of months of the first delivery, beginning with domestic
Boeing's seeming self assurance is not without its critics. Some
industry analysts are skeptical the carrier will pick up its first
787 next May; after all, new airplane programs are inherently
filled with risks, as Airbus is currently suffering through with
Yamamoto said Boeing has been straight with his airline,
providing regular updates on technical issues that still require
resolution, such as weight. That is a marked departure from Airbus'
handling of the A380 delays, which came as a surprise to many
As ANN reported, Boeing said
last year the Dreamliner was overweight by about 2.5 tons. The
planemaker says it is making progress, and the first plane
delivered to All Nippon Airways -- the seventh assembled -- will be
at the proper weight. The first six test planes will all be
overweight, Boeing concedes, adding it won't know how much the 787
will actually weigh until the first plane is assembled.
"Of course weight is an issue," Yamamoto said. "But I'm sure we
will get over that working together. There are many technical
issues that we are working on as part of the program."