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Boeing 787 first flight delayed to end of second quarter
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08:18, January 17, 2008

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Chicago-based Boeing announced Wednesday that the first flight of the 787 Dreamliner has been moved from the end of the first quarter of this year to around the end of the second quarter.

Deliveries are now expected to begin in early 2009, rather than late 2008.

This has been the second time that Boeing delayed the first flight of the 787.

In October last year, Boeing announced a six-month delay in its planned initial deliveries of the 787 due to continued challenges completing assembly.

"The fundamental design and technologies of the 787 remain sound," said Scott Carson, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

"However, we continue to be challenged by start-up issues in our factory and in our extended global supply-chain."

Carson said that while solid progress has been made on the assembly, the rate at which jobs are being completed has not improved sufficiently to maintain the current schedule.

Vice President and General Manager Pat Shanahan, who assumed leadership of the 787 program last October, Boeing has provided additional resources to more effectively manage the 787 global supply chain. The company has assembled a team of experienced executives, business managers and planning specialists that will be based at the supplier partners, as well as in its own final assembly facility.

Boeing's 2008 financial guidance will be updated with the impact of these changes when the company holds its fourth-quarter 2007 earnings conference call on Jan. 30. There will be no impact from the schedule change on 2007 financial results and the company does not expect the impact on 2008 earnings guidance to be significant.

Financial guidance for 2009 now will be provided when the company issues its first quarter 2008 earnings report in late April, which will follow the assessment of the impact of 787 schedule changes.

The company continues to expect strong earnings per share growth in 2009.

The outlook for the company's defense business and in-production commercial airplane programs remains very strong. Boeing will hold a conference call with Scott Carson and Pat Shanahan to discuss the 787 schedule changes Wednesday.


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