Boeing 787 launch customer All Nippon Airways (ANA) has expressed a clear frustration with the manufacturer over the latest delays to the new twinjet programme and is complaining publicly that it has yet to receive a detailed delivery schedule.

The manufacturer announced on 9 April a third major delay to the programme, which will now push first deliveries back to the third quarter of 2009. ANA was originally due to have received the first 787 next month.

“We are extremely disappointed,” Star Alliance member ANA says in a statement.

“This is the third delay in the delivery of the first aircraft, and we still have no details about the full delivery schedule. We would urge Boeing to provide us with a 120% definitive schedule as soon as possible.”

ANA is to be the first operator of the 787 and it launched the programme with firm orders for 50 of the type, split between the -8 and the short-haul -3. Only ANA and home-based rival Japan Airlines (JAL) have ordered the -3 to date and Boeing has now confirmed that this variant is being delayed even more than the initial -8 and the stretched -9.

 ANA 787

 © Boeing

Both ANA and JAL originally expected to receive their first -3s in 2010 but Boeing says this will now be the second derivative to be produced. The stretched -9 will now be the first derivative and its first delivery is scheduled to take place in 2012, rather than 2010. The -3 will enter service at an unspecified date after that and an ANA spokesman says from Tokyo that Boeing has not been able to say when it is now due for first delivery.

JAL has 35 787s on order plus 20 options although it has not revealed what its split will be between the -3 and -8.

The -3 is considered particularly important for the two Japanese carriers as it is intended for short-haul domestic routes and it has a shorter wingspan that is designed for use at key Japanese airports.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news