Boeing (BA): Dreamliner Delay Could Still Cost Billions

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Wall St. has digested the fact that Boeing (BA) has delayed its 787 Dreamliner again and that it will be more than a year late in launching. The plane-maker also said it was sticking by 2008 guidance.

The trouble with Boeing management is that they have been wrong so often, it is hard to say when they will be right.

Delaying the Dreamliner has a ripple effect. Airlines counting on the plane for its fuel savings and larger passenger capacity are going to lose some amount of money flying the older aircraft while they wait for Boeing. They are beginning to make monetary claims against the big US firm.

Qantas, Air New Zealand, and All Nippon have all said they will make claims. In the worst case, some airlines may shift to products from Boeing rival Airbus.

The extent of the damage is hard to calculate. The total value of revenue from the new plane is high. According to Reuters "More than 50 airlines are waiting for 892 Boeing 787s, worth a combined $145 billion at list prices."

The airlines who are missing their Dreamliners are not going to pay for the lose of delays. They had the savings of flying the new plane in their budgets.

Boeing management has got it wrong. The whole mess will cost them a ton.

Douglas A. McIntyre