Some Asian airlines are probably relieved at 787 delays

ANA 787 celebration.JPG

One man’s meat is another man’s poison. The latest delay in the Boeing 787 programme is disappointing news, but Asian airlines are likely to have mixed emotions.

Have some pity for launch customer All Nippon Airways – it is going through what Singapore Airlines did with the Airbus A380. Just last week, there was a celebration in the USA as Boeing rolled out the first 787 in ANA livery. Now, the celebratory sake would have soured as its marketing and advertising personnel put aside the promotional material once again.

Carriers with a long-term view like ANA and Qantas would also want their aircraft in their fleets sooner rather than later to meet operational requirements. Simply put, the folks at ANA would rather have the 787 in service than the Boeing 767-300ERs that they have ordered as interim capacity.

At the same time, Chinese airlines like Air China, China Eastern and China Southern are probably somewhere in between. They would have liked to have some 787s in service, but they have already adjusted the delivery schedule and are not one of the early recipients. That has worked out well given the current economic climate, and at a challenging time for the Chinese airline industry.

Others India’s Air India and Jet Airways must be relieved. Their weak balance sheets mean that they can hardly afford the capital expenditure that comes with new aircraft like the 787, which are due to be delivered in addition to other types that were previously ordered. The delay is probably a blessing in disguise.

When the 787 eventually flies, will be a big boost for airlines that hope to have a fuel-efficient aircraft with a longer range than existing ones. But in the current economic climate, some Asian airlines would probably be glad that they do not have to induct new aircraft at a time of falling load factors and reduced capacity.

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3 Responses to Some Asian airlines are probably relieved at 787 delays

  1. Ken Panting 24 June, 2009 at 8:09 pm #

    If Boeing thought that the wings might fold, Airbus must be thinking very hard about the A350, could be a very long delay.

  2. Jim 25 June, 2009 at 12:44 am #

    Boeing and Airbus both have disappointing recent histories; too much hype and not enough substance.

  3. Siva Govindasamy 25 June, 2009 at 4:26 pm #

    Hey, if any new aircraft programmes are on time, THAT would be astonishing. Okay, Boeing have not handled this one well. But when the aircraft actually stards flying, I think it will be a great product.

    And Airbus are not gonna squack about this one – they remember what happened with the A380, and they may face problems with the A350 as well.

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