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Biggest customer for new 747 expects delays

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on June 29, 2009 at 8:43 am with No Comments »
June 29, 2009 8:43 am

The biggest customer for Boeing’s new generation 747, the 747-8, says it expects that flight test delays on Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner will spill over into the 747-8 program.

German carrier Lufthansa, which has ordered 20 of the four-engine 747s, says it won’t cancel or defer its planned purchase because of those delays.

“I’m sure the delay of the 787 will mean that they have pull in more engineering resources, and that will (mean) even further delays, as a consequence for the 747-8,” said Lufthansa chief financial officer Stephan Gemkow. “I would not be surprised to learn this some weeks and months in the future.” Gemkow spoke at an investor conference last week.

The 747-8’s schedule has already been adversely affected by the laggard Dreamliner because Boeing pulled engineering talent from the larger plane project to help remedy problems with the Dreamliner.

The Dreamliner’s first flight was postponed again last week by last minute issues with the strength of the wing-body joints.

Boeing has said it will announce a new schedule for that flight in a few weeks. The Dreamliner is already nearly two years behind.

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