The Wall Street Journal has published a news alert stating that sources close to the 787 program have said that the first flight of the 787 may be delayed until June and an official announcement is coming soon.
Developments to follow.
6:33 PM: Asked to comment on reports about the delay, Northwest says, "Boeing has notified Northwest that they will be making an announcement tomorrow." Northwest is deferring all comment until after the announcement is made.
6:13 PM: Sources tell FlightBlogger that airline customers began to be notified about the delay this past weekend.
5:03 PM: James Wallace of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has confirmed the delay according to his sources.
UPDATED, 1 p.m.:
Boeing will announce the latest delay Wednesday morning before the markets open, sources confirm. Boeing will say it will not be able to complete flight tests in order to deliver planes this year. So no 787 deliveries in 2008. It also will say it can't ramp up production fast enough to deliver 109 jets by the end of 2009, my sources say. This development is significant and will have a major impact on the stock price. Boeing shares are already tumbling late this afternoon in response to a story about the latest 787 delay that was just posted by the Wall Street Journal.
Boeing executives will hold a conference call with analysts and media early Wednesday morning to explain the latest delay.
4:46 PM: All indications point to a potential announcement of some sort as early as tomorrow. The WSJ story is the first to directly target the 109 airframe delivery by the end of 2009 with concrete details.
According sources in Charleston, Dreamliner Two is being prepared for delivery by the end of this month. The level of assembly and completion of Dreamliner Two is "farther along than Airplane One" is right now in Everett. This leaves open the question as to whether or not Dreamliner Two will be the first 787 to fly.
4:20 PM: Boeing is telling reporters that the official comment is that, "We are declining comment."
Flight International and Flightblogger are working to confirm.
4:13 PM: IAG Podcast on the potential delay
WSJ Story - Fair Use Excerpt:
Boeing Is Likely to Announce
More Delays for 787 Program
By J. LYNN LUNSFORD and DANIEL MICHAELS
January 15, 2008 2:57 p.m.
Boeing Co., already six months behind schedule on its new 787 Dreamliner jet program, is close to announcing additional delays that could hurt its ability to deliver as many airplanes as promised during the initial year of production.
According to people familiar with the situation, the jet maker continues to experience problems on a variety of fronts. It has faced difficulties in getting the first plane ready to fly, and now the 787 may not make its first flight until June. It also has made slow progress in overcoming parts shortages and other issues at suppliers' factories. An announcement that would include a new time schedule could come as soon as Wednesday.
Further delays would likely make it impossible for Boeing to meet its goal of delivering 109 airplanes by the end of 2009. If that occurs, the company could face millions of dollars in penalty payments to airlines that had been eager to get the planes as soon as possible.