Boeing delays deliveries of Dreamliners to United
Nov. 2, 2012, Chicago, Il. - Boeing has missed the proposed delivery date of two 787 Dreamliner aircraft to US-based United Airlines.
The company had previously delayed the 787 programme by three-and-half years to fix quality problems on Dreamliner jets, which use lightweight composite materials instead of aluminium in the fuselage and wings.
Boeing spokesman Tim Bader said that the company was making every effort to complete Dreamliners scheduled for delivery to United Continental Holdings, which is its first North American customer.
"Final closeouts continue on the United airplanes, but are taking a few days longer than anticipated," Bader added.
United Continental Holdings corporate communications director Christen David was quoted by Bloomberg as saying: "We were informed that the second one is not ready for delivery as scheduled due to unexpected delivery delays from Boeing.
"We believe subsequent aircraft could be delayed as well."
Out of the five jets, United Airlines received the first in September 2012, which is ready to enter into service on 4 November.
In view of the possible delay in delivery, United Airlines has started informing customers who were to fly on the second 787 jet that it would arrange a different model of plane.
"We're offering to refund or re-book customers who specifically intended to fly on one of the early Dreamliner flights," David added.
Meanwhile, United Airlines is in separate discussions with the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus to purchase twin-engine A350-1000 airliners, reports Bloomberg. The carrier would use these twin-engine planes to replace its ageing Boeing 747s.
According to Airbus, the A350-1000 variant is 25% more efficient, compared with its rival Boeing 777-300ER, as it uses more lightweight composite materials.
In addition, the airline has agreed to acquire 25 mid-sized A350-900 planes under a 2009 deal that also included 25 Boeing 787 Dreamliners.