Shanghai casts doubt over early 787 delivery slots

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Shanghai airlines is considering canceling part of its 787 order as Chinese airlines work to renegotiate with Boeing on their early delivery slots.

Shanghai Airlines Chairman Zhou Chi was quoted by Bloomberg news as saying the aircraft doesn't "fully meet the quality that Boeing touted earlier".

The comments were made at a shareholders meeting today where the company said that it may cancel the first of nine 787s it has on order or renegotiate the delivery date to late 2010 at the earliest.

An industry source close to the 787 programme tells ATI affiliate FlightBlogger that all the Chinese 787 customers are working to renegotiate delivery of their share of the first 20 production aircraft "officially for payload reasons".

Shanghai is expected to receive the 10th 787, the fourth production -8 aircraft. Of the first 20 787-8s built, which include the first six flight test aircraft, Chinese airlines are expected to receive half. The airline's second 787-8 would be the 50th built.

Boeing expects to introduce its second production blockpoint which includes a suite of weight reduction and performance enhancements beginning with airplane 21.

Boeing declined to comment specifically on its negotiations with Shanghai Airlines.

"We are working very closely with our 787 customers to understand their evolving fleet requirements," says a Boeing spokesperson. "But as a matter of long-standing practice, Boeing does not comment on its discussions with customers."

Shanghai Airlines, along with Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, Grand China Airlines and Xiamen Airlines were all part of a coalition of Chinese airlines that gave the 787 its name when it ordered 60 in January 2005.