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A long wait for new planes

A long wait for new planes

Airlines in the region will probably face delays for their Boeing aircrafts as the company’s workers go on strike.

September 8, 2008 11:11 by

While Emirates recently celebrated the take-off of its first Airbus A380, it’s unlikely that any airline will be doing the same anytime soon for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. More than 27,000 Boeing workers have gone on strike in a dispute with the American aerospace company, demanding, among other things, better wages in a troubled US economy. The strike will cost Boeing $100m for every day that it lasts, says London’s Times.

Boeing’s production lines for the 737, 747 and 777 aircrafts have been halted despite a staggering backlog of work worth $275bn. The strike could further delay the 787 Dreamliner, which is already running more than a year behind schedule.

The bird was supposed to be ready for test flights later this year, with initial deliveries starting in the third quarter of 2009. Boeing snagged orders for around 900 Dreamliners, but deliveries have been slowed due to vendor delays, parts shortages and changes to the wing section. It has already begun compensating airlines for missed deadlines.

With a large share of the company’s orders coming from the Middle East, surely Boeing will have some further explaining to do. At the Farnborough air show in the UK this year, Etihad Airways placed orders for 45 Boeing aircraft worth $9.4bn, including 35 of the coveted 787 Dreamliners and 10 Boeing 777-30s. Fly Dubai, Emirates’ low cost carrier, ordered 50 Boeing 737-800s, worth around $3.7bn at list prices.

At the Dubai Air show last year, Middle East carriers had a long shopping list: Emirates ordered 12 Boeing 777 jets worth around $3.2bn, making a grand total of 57 of these jets pending delivery to the Dubai airline. Qatar Airways, meanwhile, ordered 27 Boeing 777s worth around $13.5bn and signaled it would also sign for 30 Boeing 787s.

Adding to Boeing’s woes now is that fact that its workers don’t want to build these aircraft without a raise. It’s clear the best laid planes often go astray.

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1 Comment

  1. Jose De Souza on September 8, 2008 2:28 pm

    Great story! But you seem to have got one detail wrong…I don’t think Emirates has any orders for the 787. They did order the A350XWB though!


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