Updated from 9:17 a.m. ESTBoeing ( BA) has backed away from its plan to deliver 109 of its 787 Dreamliners next year, saying it faces delays in the completion and sequencing of work performed by its outside contractors. "We're not going to have 109 deliveries in '09, we're fairly confident of that," Scott Carson, CEO of Boeing Commercial Aircraft, said Wednesday on a conference call with reporters and analysts. "We don't have a definitive number yet." He said Boeing will provide an update at the end of the first quarter. Carson said the first flight of the widely awaited aircraft will take place at the end of the second quarter. Once scheduled for August 2007, it was already postponed and set for the end of the first quarter. Meanwhile, the first delivery will be moved into early 2009. Boeing had originally been planning for deliveries to begin in May of this year, but it had already said it would miss that date by several months before the latest delay. While parts shortages are extending the program schedule, the principal problem is assuring timely completion of "traveled" work by contractors, whom Boeing enlisted as part of a complex process by which key components would be manufactured elsewhere and shipped to Everett, Wash., for final assembly. "We just need to get the traveled work completed. That's really the pacing item," Pat Shanahan, general manager of the 787 program, said on the call. "Parts are not the pacing items,
However, Stallard believes that for long-term investors the current price "could turn out to be a good entry point, even if ultimately Boeing goes lower before recovering." Bank of America has a relationship with Boeing that includes providing investment banking services and beneficial ownership of 1% or more of a class of common equity. Meanwhile, Airbus reported that in 2007 it booked a record 1,341 orders and delivered 453 airplanes. Airbus surpassed Boeing's 441 deliveries during the year, but Boeing led in orders with 1,413. At a Toulouse, France, press conference, Airbus executives spoke understandingly of Boeing's plight, not surprisingly given the delays Airbus has encountered in its A350 and A380 programs. The 787 delay "shows how complex aircraft manufacturing is and why there are only two producers of large commercial aircraft over 100 seats in the world," Airbus sales chief John Leahy told reporters, according to Reuters."
Boeing will get through it. I don't see any advantage for Airbus."