More delays plague 747-8 deliveries

BOEING looks like it will suffer another delay to its first 747-8 delivery. Already 18 months late, the aircraft’s first delivery – to Cargolux – is likely to be knocked back six to eight weeks from its latest, mid-year, estimate.

Two analysts – Cai Von Rumohr of Cowen & Co and Joseph Nadol of JPMorgan Chase & Co – both issued statements to investors saying they expected delays due to minor problems.

“Boeing is still ironing out issues with the aircraft,” Nadol said. “We see a potential for a delay, but it may not be all that material to the stock.” Nadol added that the delay may bring attention – “not necessarily of the good kind” – to the model type during Boeing’s investor meetings that are starting this week.

Boeing is keeping the aircraft on its assembly line while it finishes the final touches and makes last-minute changes emerging from test flights, such as in-flight vibrations. The 747-8 still has 25 per cent of its testing to be completed, compared with the 787 – supposedly due for delivery after the 747-8 – which already has 98 per cent of its tests complete.

Boeing has accrued over US$2 billion in charges for the delays.

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