(Changes details of delivery schedule in seventh sentence to read per year)
All Nippon Airways (ANA), the launch customer for the Boeing 787 programme, has reached an agreement with Boeing with regards the purchase of Boeing 767-300ERs as interim lift and it has agreed on a new delivery schedule for its 50 787s on order.
A spokesman in Tokyo for the Star Alliance carrier says it will be buying nine Boeing 767-300ERs from Boeing for delivery in 2010 and 2011.
"For the present moment, we decided buying is the best thing going ahead but if necessary we will make a different decision [and lease] if we need to", he says.
ANA needs the aircraft because there has been a delay in the delivery of its new Boeing 787s and the carrier wants to ensure this delay has minimal impact on its growth plans as outlined in its business plan.
The carrier was originally suppose to receive May this year the first of 50 787s on order.
In today's statement it says it still plans to receive 50 787s but the first will only arrive in August 2009.
Rather than getting seven aircraft per year until 2015, under the new schedule it will receive six aircraft per year until 2017, it says.
All this means that each ANA 787 on order will be delayed by 14 to 36 months with an average delay of two years, it adds.
The Japanese carrier was the first major airline to order the 787 but the aircraft-maker's 787 programme has experienced several delays due in part to the complexity of the task at hand.