Boeing notifies European airlines of 787 delays

February 09, 2013 - 7:12:59 am

LONDON: Boeing told two European airlines yesterday that their deliveries of 787 Dreamliner jets would be delayed, as investigations into the problems behind the grounded aircraft continue.

Thomson Airways, owned by Britain’s TUI Travel, said that delivery of its first Dreamliner, originally scheduled for the end of February, had been “moved out of the month” and it had not been given a new delivery date.

Norwegian Air Shuttle, meanwhile, said it had been notified by Boeing that its delivery schedule was at risk because of an investigation by the US National Transportation Safety Board into the aircraft and the extent of the possible delay was not yet known.

Authorities around the world grounded the technologically advanced 787 on January 16 after a battery fire in Boston and a second incident involving a battery on a flight in Japan. The groundings have cost airlines tens of millions of dollars.   Thomson launched an advertising campaign in Britain in April last year for its new fleet of Dreamliners, which it said represented the “future of long-haul travel”. It planned to start using the planes in May.

Both airlines said that they were making backup plans, with the Nordic carrier saying that it would lease aircraft if the 787 was not delivered in time for its long-haul service. British Airways, owned by International Airlines Group , said it was in discussions with Boeing but that the first of its 787 planes were still scheduled to be delivered in May.