SkyTeam member Northwest Airlines says it is crucial that Boeing meets its new deadline for initial deliveries of the 787 twinjet.

Northwest is the North American launch customer for the 787. Deliveries to the US major were originally slated to begin in August 2008.

Responding to the airframer’s decision to push back initial deliveries – slated for All Nippon Airways - by at least six months, until late November or December 2008, Northwest says: “We are disappointed by Boeing’s delay. We can adapt to the situation. It will be very important that Boeing meets its new deadline and we expect them to do so.”

The US major notes, however, that the six-month delay in first deliveries “does not necessarily mean a six month slide in all deliveries”.

“Boeing has committed to giving us an updated delivery schedule in the next few weeks,” it says.