Boeing Delays First Dreamliner to ANA

Delay due to a fire that erupted during a test flight

Boeing has delayed delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner airplane to Japan's All Nippon Airways as it probes a fire that erupted during a test flight, a company spokeswoman said on Dec. 1.

"There will be a delay," the spokeswoman said. "When we have the fix in place we will put together a new schedule."

The first 787 delivery to ANA is currently set for the middle of the first quarter next year. The delay-plagued program is already running about three years behind schedule.

The company halted test flights as it investigated an electrical fire that forced an emergency landing last week.

Boeing said it was developing minor design changes to power distribution panels on the 787 and updates to the systems software that manages and protects power distribution on the plane.

The spokeswoman was unable to say what would be the likely timeframe for the new delay, or whether ANA had been notified.

ANA, Japan's second largest airline after troubled Japan Airlines, is to be the launch customer for the Dreamliner, which features a lightweight part-carbon composite structure for greater fuel efficiency. It initially had been promised its first high-tech 787 Dreamliner in 2008.

The head of ANA this week voiced "great disappointment" at repeated delays by Boeing in delivering the 787.

"We are pushing them to present the detailed cause of the irregularities," ANA chief executive Shinichiro Ito said to the Financial Times, referring to the fire incident. "We are pushing Boeing to present the schedule for the delivery as soon as possible."

Asked whether ANA regretted ever ordering the jet, Ito responded: "Never! It's a dream!

"Of course we have a great disappointment about the delay but our top priority is to have an excellent fleet."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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