Wed, Oct 01, 2008
Stops Short Of Saying Plane Will Be Delayed By IAM Stike
Boeing stopped just short of confirming Tuesday the 787 program
will face further delays caused by a machinists strike... a
scenario most in the industry view as an inevitable certainty.
Reuters reports Randy J. Tinseth, VP of Boeing's Commercial
Airplanes division, told reporters in Tokyo, "Frankly, we do not
know when the strike will end. As soon as the strike does end, our
operations will normalize... we then will be able to reassess our
production, deliveries and program schedule for the 787 at that
Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways had already announced they
expected delays in receiving their Dreamliners
after the start of the strike by 27,000
members of the International Association of Machinists
and Aerospace Workers September 6.
Japan has been a great market for Boeing. A vast majority of
airliners in use in Japan are Boeing models. All Nippon Airways was
the first airline to order the 787, and its CEO got a five-minute
standing ovation from Boeing employees at the 787's public
unveiling in July of last year.
Now, the first actual deliveries will be at least 15 months
late... and that's a pre-strike estimate.
The frustration caused by the strike is shared in Japan's
industrial sector. Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Heavy
Industries and Fuji Heavy Industries all have roles in
manufacturing components for the 787.
Nicole Piasecki, Boeing Japan's President, took a philisophical
tack, noting the complexity of an airliner development program.
"At the end of the day this program has sold 900 aircraft," she
told reporters. "So we have every bit of confidence although the
pay-back period will be longer."
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