Boeing faces vast bill over Dreamliner delivery delay

 

Boeing’s Dreamliner nightmare deepened today when the planemaker told one of its biggest European customers it could miss deliveries of its flagship new jet piling tens of millions of dollars onto compensation claims as customers rent alternative jets.

Today Norwegian Air, which has eight Dreamliners on order, the first due in April and the second in June, said Boeing had warned it of a potential delay and added that it “will enter into an agreement with a leasing company to operate long-haul routes in the event of the Dreamliner being delayed”. Analysts said leasing two planes the size of the 787 for three months would cost about $6 million (£3.8 million), a bill Boeing would have to foot.

The entire worldwide fleet of 787s has now been grounded for more than three weeks as investigators try to discover what is wrong with the plane’s lithium-ion battery, which caught fire in Boston and forced an emergency landing in Japan.

A further blow for the business came as Deborah Hersman, chairman of the US National Transportation Safety Board, said the conditions used to assess the safety of the Dreamliner’s batteries should be reconsidered — potentially leaving the 787s grounded for much longer. Switching to a different type of battery would be a major engineering operation as well as adding weight to the plane — fuel efficiency thanks to the light lithium batteries was one of the 787’s main selling points.

In Britain, Thomson is due to take delivery of the first of eight Dreamliners later this month, and British Airways is expecting its first 787 in May. But analysts warned those schedules were unlikely to be met. Zafar Khan, aerospace analyst at Société Générale, said. “The real issue with the batteries has yet to be identified, but if they need to be re-designed or face re-certification, it’s looking like a delay of about three months. Clearly, Boeing will need to compensate customers.” This is in addition to reimbursing airlines which have had to ground jets. Japan Airlines, which has eight, is looking at a cost of $8 million from its earnings to the end of March and rival ANA, with 17, said it lost 1.4 billion yen (£9.6 million) in January alone.

Boeing’s certification tests put the chance of smoke from a 787 battery at one every 10 million flight hours. But Hersman said: “There have been two battery events resulting in smoke, less than two weeks apart, on two different aircraft. The assumptions used to certify the battery must be reconsidered.”

Boeing has received permission to conduct test flights to investigate the batteries under flight conditions.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Financial Adviser

£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Guru Careers: Application Support Analyst / 1st Line Support

£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Application Support Analyst / 1st L...

Guru Careers: .NET Developer / Web Developer

£45K - £55K (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a full stack .NET D...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence