Well U Turn Al (Akbar Al-Baker for the uninitiated), the CEO of Qatar Airways, is at it again. The bane of both Boeing and Airbus is now saying that Qatar Airways won't accept any 787s until the FMS (fan mid shaft) in each of his 787s are replaced. Currently 10% of the 787s he ordered is outside at Everett waiting to be delivered. The demand defies logic in the face of the investigation and recommendations made by the NTSB, FAA, GE and Boeing. Thus far the cracks of the FMS is attributable (it appears) to the coating on the FMS. GE is altering the way it applies the coating but it does not appear that the FMS has to be changed out in total unless crack have been discovered. The FA also has put out recommendations for airlines to inspect the FMS every 90 days for cracks. With action on the issues facing the GEnx engines, airlines are continuing to fly the engine on both the 787 and 747. U Turn Al is trying to leverage this issue for more compensation from GE it appears.
The whole issue of the delays is further clouded by other possible reason for the delay:
1) Refurbishment of the interior after Qatar insisted that Boeing displays its first 787 at the Farnborough Air Show.
2) Wholesale change out of the interior which necessitated the aircraft to go to California to have the interior changed out by the OEM as Boeing couldn't do it.
3) Issues with the IFE/WIFI system that Qatar had bought from Thales.
So the bottom line is when will deliveries commence? A source has told me that deliveries should commence no earlier than the end of October but don't be surprised if this is pushed even beyond that. At the end of the day this is not Boeing's fault but rather the actions of a press hungry, attention seeking, egomaniacal airline executive.
Boeing is also waiting to deliver the 1st 787 built in Charleston to Air India. Once again (unsurprisingly) the delivery is being held up by the Government of India. ZA237 (LN 46, VT-ANI) is ready to be delivered but there is no word on when from Boeing. It was expected last week but never occurred. Rumor has it that it could be this Thursday, Oct. 4th but I've heard that one before. We'll truly know when the aircraft is wheels up out of Charleston and heading for India.
On the bright side, Boeing delivered ANA's 15th 787 which was ZA135 (LN 66, JA815A) on Sunday and was flown to Japan last night. Boeing is now up to 26 deliveries over all, 23 in 2012 and 7 in September.