ANALYSIS: Asia-Pacific set for Dreamliner deluge

Singapore
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The Asia-Pacific's Boeing 787 operators are emerging, finally, from the long dark tunnel of the Dreamliner crisis, and can look forward to a rush of deliveries in the next six months.

The first months of 2013 were perhaps the most difficult in the long, hard career of the 787. Following battery fires on a Japan Airlines 787 and ANA 787 in January, one of which caused an emergency landing, the global fleet of 49 787s was grounded for four months while Boeing developed a new battery and containment system.

With Boeing's fix in place, Air India has resumed flights with the type, and the world's biggest operators of the 787 - All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines - are gearing up to do so on 1 June.

Although the 787 has been gone from the region's skies for the first six months of 2013, by New Year's Eve it will have become increasingly commonplace. Flightglobal's Ascend Online database shows that 71 787-8s are due to be delivered globally in 2013, with 42 of these aircraft destined for Asian carriers.

China Southern Airlines will receive its first 787 in the week ending 26 May. Before the end of June, 12 more will be delivered to Asian carriers, including JAL, ANA, Air India, China Southern and another new 787 operator - Hainan Airlines.

Other regional operators that will receive their first 787 this year include Qantas low-cost carrier Jetstar, and Royal Brunei, the first Southeast Asian operator.

Most of these deliveries come from orders placed during 2004-05, well before the global financial crisis of 2008-09 and the series of problems and delays that plagued the programme.

In 2014, Asia-Pacific will again receive 42 787s, roughly a third of 132 planned deliveries for the aircraft. Subsequently in 2015, the region will receive 43 787s, compared with global planned deliveries of 124.

Flightglobal's Ascend Online database shows that Boeing will deliver 782 787s before the end of 2020. Of these, 254 will be delivered to Asia-Pacific carriers.