Washington: Boeing Co. said Tuesday it has again delayed the first test flight of its long-awaited 787 jetliner, citing a need to reinforce part of the aircraft.
The flight initially had been planned for late 2007, but production problems and a labour strike have prompted several delays. Boeing Co. said it will not announce the new schedule for the first test flight and deliveries for several weeks.
Deliveries of the long-range widebody, meanwhile, already have been delayed four times. Customers had expected to get the first of the new jets in the first quarter of 2010—nearly two years behind the original schedule. The delays have cost Boeing credibility and billions of dollars in anticipated expenses and penalties.
Paul Nisbet, an analyst at JSA Research, said the announcement was “not good news,” and that Boeing had said in recent days at the Paris Air Show that the plane was ready to fly. “I don’t think it means much overall, but it certainly is a disappointment short-term,” he said.