787 flight test aircraft not allocated to customers

Washington DC
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Boeing has confirmed that the first six 787 test flight aircraft, once destined for customers ANA, Delta Airlines and Royal Air Maroc are no longer assigned to specific airlines.

"As we made adjustments to the latest delivery schedule, our customers had the opportunity to take production airplanes that better suited their business needs for a variety of reasons, including schedule," said Boeing.

But the airframer remains confident of placing the six refurbished flight test aircraft with customers.

Morocco's Royal Air Maroc has also moved into the early production stream assuming ownership of two delivery spots previously held by Air China and China Eastern, with JAL taking an additional Dreamliner from another spot held by China Eastern.

In addition, this new information appears to confirm that Delta Air Lines, which excluded 18 787s from an order table listed in a recent US Securities and Exchange Commission filing, does not intend to be an early 787 customer, even though the airline confirms that it retains firm orders for the type.

According to the schedule of the first 30 aircraft, Qantas and Air India have assumed control of spots previously held by Delta. The Australian airline, which will use the aircraft in its low-cost Jetstar subsidiary, previously expected to receive three 787s over three months, will now take delivery of its first five 787s over four months.

Boeing expects to fly the first 787 by the end of the 2nd quarter of 2009.