All Nippon Airways (ANA), the launch customer for the Boeing 787, might seek compensation from Boeing for the latest delay in the 787 programme.

ANA is unable to gain compensation for delays caused by industrial action at Boeing, says a Tokyo-based ANA spokesman, who is currently in Chicago at a Star Alliance conference.

But he says the delay caused by the problem with the fasteners is a separate issue altogether.

The 57-day strike at Boeing caused a three-month delay in the delivery of some Boeing 737s and a Boeing 767-300ER to ANA.

But the latest delay in the 787 programme is six months because it was due to the fastener issue as well as the workers' strike, says the ANA spokesman.

He says delivery of ANA's first 787 has now been delayed to the second quarter of 2010 from August 2009."We will look at it as a whole and then decide whether it is appropriate to seek further compensation," says the spokesman.

He says ANA is now assessing what impact the latest six-month delay will have on its flight schedule.

ANA already has nine Boeing 767-300ERs on order which it got as interim lift for earlier delays in the 787 programme.

The ANA spokesman says the airline will now have to determine if this is still sufficient or whether it needs more interim lift.

Japan Airlines (JAL) is another large 787 customer and a JAL spokesman in Tokyo says JAL's first 787 was originally suppose to be delivered in August 2008 but then it was delayed to October 2009 and now there is "approximately a further six-month delay for our first aircraft", meaning the first will only come sometime around April 2010.

"We're talking to Boeing about the exact delay" on the airline's entire delivery schedule for 787s, says the spokesman, adding that it is possible the delays altogether will average two and a half years for each aircraft.

He says: "We are now assessing impact [of the latest delay] on our current plans".

Delays in the 787 programme mean JAL has to delay the retirement of some older aircraft and rework its heavy maintenance schedule, he adds.

Boeing earlier today issued a statement announcing a further six-month delay to the 787 programme.

It attributed the latest delay to the 57-day workers' strike and last month's discovery that it needed to replace thousands of fasteners on each 787 currently in production because of a quality assurance breakdown.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news