ANZ 787-9 service entry slips to 2014: Sources

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Boeing will deliver the first 787 to launch customer All Nippon Airways in the third week of September, while the larger 787-9's entry into service date is expected to be delayed by up to an additional six months, according to sources.

The US airframer is unlikely to deliver more than six 787s in 2011 because progress on reworking and outfitting each aircraft is taking longer than expected, said company and industry sources.

Meanwhile, delivery of the first 787-9 to launch customer Air New Zealand will likely be pushed back to the first half of 2014, representing an additional delay of between three and six months. Sources attribute this to a slower than expected pace of design, possibly paired with a more modest production ramp-up.

Boeing said its current EIS target for the 787-9 remains unchanged, but added that it would provide updated 2011 delivery guidance during its 27 July second quarter earnings call.

The company's near-term halt in deliveries to final assembly highlights the remaining challenges of how the 787 production system can achieve 10 aircraft a month by 2013.

Sources said that completion of the 787's aft body has been a particular area of focus during the delivery hold, which is expected to expire in early August.