ILFC President John Pleuger Discusses Boeing 787 Delay

(Amended: Click here for one of two forthcoming articles on this subject).

You might be struck by the absence of dialogue on my blog about the Boeing 787’s latest delay. It’s not for lack of interest on my part. On the contrary, I have been covering the story as a journalist since shortly after it broke on Tuesday.

At that very moment, I was sitting down to lunch in Alexandria, Virginia with fellow teammates at Flight International, including FlightBlogger Jon Ostrower. Once you’ve read his blog, you can see why there is little sense in my trying to duplicate it.

However, in my quest to take a fresh look at the story, I had the very good fortune of speaking with International Lease Finance (ILFC) president John Pleuger, who was kind enough to give me his two cents on the latest delay.

Since Sesame Street is nearly over, and it’s just about time for my daughter to hit the sack, I’m going to make my blogging life very easy by simply reprinting just a few of John’s thoughts here (you’ll have to wait until Flight’s next edition for the rest).

With respect to the 787’s latest delay (and when deliveries can be expected) John says:

“I am expecting that our deliveries in 2010 will be impacted.” [ILFC is scheduled to take delivery of 10 787s in 2010]

“None of our first ten are specifically targeted as going into China. [We have] not yet broken out where they are going.”

“I think you have to look at the circumstances for this aircraft. There is so much more subcontractor supplier scheduling that is impacting this program so I actually think it is very truly difficult for Boeing to be able to [give] a really accurate assessment …”

“I think there is just so many variables. I think those variables make it really difficult to really know definitively where we’re going to be. I think Boeing has done their best job of getting a handle on it. And I know they have had many, many really thorough scrub downs…to find out what is a reasonable time estimation.”

“I think what they will do is those [airlines/lessors] that they are sure they’re impacting, they’re going to tell them. The thing about this is that the entire supply chain in aerospace is completely maxed out. It has reached its maximum point of elasticity.”

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