Ethiopian Airlines: The ‘Dreamliner turned Nightmare’

The ‘Dreamliner turned Nightmare’ scenario seems to continue unabated, as Boeing had to admit to yet another delay, this one caused by the need to re-engineer sections of the aircraft already under assembly as a result of findings from a series of test flights carried out until now.

Ethiopian Airlines, which expected the first of their long overdue B787’s before the end of 2011, may now have to wait a further three months into early 2012 before the first aircraft will be delivered to them, and other airlines too are bracing themselves for added waiting periods. It is understood that the aircraft already out of the assembly line are all being worked on one after the other but at a slower pace than foreseen, wrecking yet another timeline Boeing had given to impatient operators, many of which can’t wait to retire or sell off their existing Boeing long haul aircraft like the B 767, which have become simply too expensive to maintain and operate in comparison with competing Airbus models and in particular the B 787.

It is not clear entirely what happened in regard of additional work now required to get the assembled planes to delivery status, but Boeing seems to have notified, according to a US based aviation source, their suppliers for the B 787 parts, to halt delivery for the time being while these re-engineering issues are being resolved.

A source from Addis Ababa expressed regret over the additional delay but was confident that ‘this is surely the last postponement we are now told about’ and that all ordered aircraft of this type would be delivered from 2012 onwards as planned.  Watch this space for the most uptodate aviation news from the Eastern African and Indian Ocean region.

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