Boeing is remaining quiet about a report that the first flight of the 787 may be delayed a third time, until June. “We are declining comment,” the company says.
Citing “people familiar with the situation”, the Wall Street Journal today published a news alert saying the 787’s first flight will be delayed until June, and that an announcement will be made shortly.
If confirmed, this would represent a third slip in the airframer’s schedule, which originally called for a late August first flight.
The WSJ says further delays would likely make it impossible for Boeing to meet its goal of delivering 109 aircraft by the end of 2009, and that the company could face millions of dollars in penalty payments to airlines.
On January 11, Flight affiliate Flightblogger reported that, while Boeing is making progress towards a first flight of the 787 at the end of March, it still faced pressure on its revised schedule.
Declining to confirm or deny the report, Boeing at that time said it is “focused on our milestones for airplane number one and doing everything we can to meet them”.
Boeing continues to book 787 orders, meanwhile, today announcing a deal with Fiji-based Air Pacific for a further three General Electric GEnx-powered 787-9s, plus purchase orders for three more, on top of the five already on order. The aircraft were included in Boeing's 2007 order total, attributed to an unidentified customer.