Boeing delays delivery of new 747-8 airplanes

Deliveries delayed 9 months; deliveries of 747-8 Freighter to begin third quarter of 2010; deliveries of 747-8 Intercontinental passenger model to begin second quarter of 2011. Company working with customers to minimize disruption.

Boeing [NYSE: BA] today announced an adjusted schedule for production and delivery of the 747-8 Freighter and Intercontinental airplanes.

Source Boeing via Bloomberg
The delays have been caused by delays in the supply chain due to design changes, and the recent Machinists’ strike which halted production at the company’s factories.

Boeing had planned to ship its 787 Dreamliners to customers starting in May and then divert those engineers to the 747-8 program, its biggest plane and a competitor to the Airbus A380 superjumbo.

That plan has gone up in smoke since the Dreamliner, is already more than 15 months behind schedule, and the 57-day machinists strike, has only added to Boeing’s woes.

As if that were not enough, engineers are in contract talks this week and are also threatening a walkout.

At best, deliveries have been pushed back 9 months. Delivery of the first 747-8 Freighter will move from late 2009 to the third quarter of 2010. The first 747-8 Intercontinental passenger jet delivery moves from late 2010 to the second quarter of 2011.

“Our entire team has worked hard to mitigate growing schedule risk on this program but have been unable to overcome the collective impact of work statement increases to the original design, a tight supply of engineering resources, and the recent Machinists’ strike,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Scott Carson.

“The remaining work on the 747-8 program is well defined,” said Ross R. Bogue, vice president and general manager — 747 Program and Everett site. “This schedule adjustment provides the time we need to finish that work and bring both airplanes to market successfully for our customers.”

This announcement has clearly impacted Boeing’s stock prices, which are down 4.5% at the time of this story.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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