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Boeing says customer dropped order for 15 787s
Bloomberg News

Boeing's 787 Dreamliner is at least two years behind schedule.


Associated Press file

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Published: 1/28/2009 10:08 AM

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Boeing Co., whose new 787 Dreamliner is about two years late, said a customer canceled all 15 of the planes it had on order.

The planes, valued at about $2.6 billion at list prices, were scheduled for delivery late in the next decade, Boeing said in a statement today. The cancellation, which was from a customer who had asked Boeing not to disclose its identity, reduces the backlog to 895 from 910, company spokesman Todd Blecher said.

Blecher declined to give a reason for the cancellation or discuss demand trends for the delayed plane prior to an earnings conference call later today with Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney. "Discussions have been going on and as we've said in the past, we're working with every customer to make sure we help them as best we can," he said.

The Dreamliner is now due to enter service at the beginning of 2010, rather than in May 2008 as originally planned. Boeing has announced four delays in the past 15 months because of parts shortages, engineering changes, a strike and problems with the suppliers building most of the plane. Airlines are seeking the 787, made of lightweight composites, to help their fuel costs.

Only one other carrier so far has canceled a Dreamliner order. Azerbaijan Airlines in August substituted a 767 for one of the three 787s it planned to buy.

Chicago-based Boeing is the world's second-biggest maker of commercial planes, trailing Airbus SAS of Toulouse, France.