Dreamliner Delays May Drive JAL Away

Longtime customer weighs defecting from Boeing to Airbus
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2008 7:23 PM CST

Japan Airlines may abandon its plan to stock up on Boeing Dreamliners because of tie-ups in production of the new 787, Reuters reports. The carrier, a loyal Boeing customer, planned to buy 55 Dreamliners, but the delivery date has slipped again, to early 2009. Now JAL is checking out the Airbus A350 XWB, which would allow it to offset fuel costs by flying more midsize planes.

“The risk of procuring from one firm for our next-generation planes is large," said a JAL exec. "We should procure from more than one.” Boeing remains the top dog in its field, but its customers are getting itchy after delays in production of the eagerly awaited 787. Boeing has advance orders for 857 of the aircraft, worth $140 billion. (Read more Boeing 787 Dreamliner stories.)

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