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Final preparations for Boeing's 787 delivery begin

Test aircraft deployed to Japan, while Gulf airlines await deliveries.
NEWS, Aviation

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Boeing’s ground-breaking 787 ‘Dreamliner’ aircraft will arrive in Japan for the first time next month as final preparations for the jet’s commercial launch begin in earnest.

The US manufacturer confirmed that the first 787 will be delivered to launch customer All Nippon Airways (ANA) in either August or September this year.

As part of the build-up to the launch, Boeing’s second test 787 is being sent to Japan in the first week of July to simulate operations between several cities in the country, and to allow ANA to practise maintenance and servicing on the aircraft.

ANA has ordered 55 Dreamliners, which is the first commercial airliner to be partly built of composites, making it lighter and more fuel-efficient. Advanced engines also help it to emit less CO2 then more conventional aircraft.

The developments will be watched closely by several Gulf airlines, who have invested heavily in the long-delayed jet.

Qatar Airways is one of the largest buyers of the 787, with 60 orders. Last month, the airline’s chief executive announced that it had received specific dates for delivery, and hinted that these could even arrive ahead of time.

“I am confident that Boeing, once it starts the second production line in Charleston, will be able to get our airplanes faster than the dates that they have indicated to us,” said CEO Akbar Al Baker.

“All the mishaps and misadventures of the 787 are behind us.”

In March, Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways confirmed that it had cut back its 35-strong Dreamliner order by four aircraft, instead ordering four Boeing 777 jets.

Meanwhile, Royal Jordanian is currently in talks with Boeing over losses the carrier is sustaining due to three years of delayed deliveries.

“We are talking about compensation but the contracts are quite difficult to break,” CEO Hussein Dabbas said in May. “The 787 consumes 20 percent less fuel [than the Airbus A340] so it is a very complicated formula if we are going to start calculating, but it cost us a lot of money.”
 

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