Boeing is dropping its delivery expectations for its twin-engine 787-8 and four-engine 747-8 development programs to a combined 25-30 airplanes, down from its first quarter expectation as high as 40.
The company has not broken down rates for those deliveries, but the 787’s production program appears to be the most under strain.
Parts shortages and the need to incorporate design changes that have grown out of its flight testing program have prompted Boeing to put a hold on supplier deliveries to its final 787 assembly line for the month of July.
Both the 787 and 747-8 have entered their function and reliability testing and are on target for certification and first deliveries by the end of September. It may be a race to see which will get out the hangar door first.
Meanwhile, Air New Zealand CFO Rob McDonald said last week that the stretched 787-9 appears to have slipped another year in its first delivery. ANZ is the -9’s launch customer and now does not expect to see it until 2014 rather than 2013.
As my colleague Adrian Schofield reported last week, McDonald says the delay is forcing Air New Zealand to retain 747-400s and 767s that it wanted to be rid of.
Still, the carrier says it is willing to wait for the 787-9 rather than add another aircraft type in the interim because any other one would not be as well suited for its long-haul operations.
First duty for the 787-9 will be on routes to China.