18 January 2008 | Paul Snell
Boeing has postponed the first flight of its new "superjumbo" following problems within its supply chain.
The company also said that first deliveries of the new plane, the 787 Dreamliner, would not take place until early 2009, rather than the end of 2008 as expected.
Scott Carson, president and CEO of Boeing commercial airplanes, said in a statement: "The fundamental design and technologies of the 787 remain sound. However we continue to be challenged by start-up issues in our factory and in our extended global supply chain."
The firm added that it would be assessing the progress of its suppliers in meeting their commitments. Boeing has been working to improve its supply chain since October 2007, with the appointment of Pat Shanahan as 787 vice-president and general manager. This includes sending Boeing staff to work at suppliers.
Boeing has so far taken 841 orders for the plane from 55 customers.