JAL hit by further 787 delivery delay

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Japan Airlines (JAL) has had the delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner delayed at least three months to June 2011 at the earliest.

The Oneworld carrier received a notice from Boeing late last month about the delay, says JAL president and chief operating officer Masaru Onishi.

JAL, which has 35 firm orders and 20 options for the aircraft, had initially expected to receive its first in March 2011. Boeing said in August that first delivery of the 787 to launch operator All Nippon Airways would be delayed under the mid-first quarter of 2011 from end-2010.

"We are anticipating the delivery of the aircraft and we hope that it will be soon, because the 787 will be a game changer for us," says Onishi, adding that it is uncertain how many 787s JAL will take delivery of next year due to the change in the schedule.

JAL, which filed for bankruptcy protection in January, has said it will retire 103 aircraft as it move towards small and medium-sized aircraft. Medium-sized jets like the 787 will be key in helping it develop its international route network, it has said.