Aviation News

October 31, 2012

Boeing Delays United 787 Dreamliner Deliveries [UPDATE]

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By: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren
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United's first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (N20904) takes off from Boeing Field enroute to Houston. (Photo by Dan King/NYCAviation)
United's first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (N20904) takes off from Boeing Field enroute to Houston. (Photo by Dan King/NYCAviation)
Boeing on Wednesday confirmed that United Airlines will face delays to its upcoming Boeing 787 Dreamliner deliveries. The delay throws a wrench into the Chicago-based carrier’s domestic Dreamliner tour, slated to begin this on Sunday in Houston. While the first flight of the tour will not be affected, it is not clear which other flights might be grounded.

While a new delivery date is rumored to be only slightly behind schedule, United already appears less than optimistic about the remaining four deliveries due this year. Speaking with the Chicago Tribune, United spokeswoman Christen David said “[United] believes this year’s subsequent 787 deliveries could be delayed as well.”

United has fifty of the new twin-aisle airplane on order, all of them a product of a merger with former Continental airlines. Five of those fifty were scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2012, but so far only one has been delivered. So far no one has publicly stated the nature of the delay, nor has a new delivery window been announced. Neither Boeing nor United have yet responded to a request for comment.

UPDATE: Boeing and United have confirmed that the airline took delivery of a second 787 today. That said, much of the airline’s inaugural tour across the US has been cancelled due to the delay of this second aircraft and anticipated delays of subsequent aircraft. A United spokesman said the airline is still “hopeful” that it will receive a total of five Dreamliners by year’s end and that the international routes planned for 787 service will not be affected by the delays.