Supply chain problems further delay 787 launch

13 April 2008
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14 April 2008

Boeing has again delayed plans for delivery of its 787 Dreamliner aircraft after supply chain problems.

Earlier this year the aircraft maker postponed the first flight of the "superjumbo" following supply chain hold ups. Then the company said first deliveries of the new plane would take place in early 2009, rather than the end of 2008. This date has now been pushed back further to "third-quarter 2009". It expects to deliver 25 Dreamliners next year.

In January the company also announced a "comprehensive assessment of its supply chain and production system capabilities". This review has now ended and the company has revealed in a statement that: "As a result… the first-year delivery plan announced today [see above] will be followed by a more gradual ramp up to full-rate production than previously planned."

The statement added that: "While significant progress has been made assembling Airplane 1, first flight is being rescheduled due to slower than expected completion of work that traveled from supplier facilities into Boeing's assembly line, unanticipated rework and the addition of margin into the testing schedule."

According to Scott Carson, president and CEO of Boeing commercial airplanes, these issues have "prevented us from hitting the milestones we laid out in January". He added "the fundamental technologies and design of the 787 remain sound."

Pat Shanahan, 787 vice-president and general manager, said the company has "confidence in the new milestones", adding, "We have worked closely with our partners to achieve higher levels of completion of their parts of subsequent airplanes and we will continue to drive improvements in the supply chain and production system performance."


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