Friday, November 30, 2012

Is Boeing-SPEEA contract talks slowing down 787 work?

Boeing and SPEEA are in the midst of trying to negotiate a new contract with Boeing just yesterday saying that they will seek federal mediation in the contract negotiations.  However in recent weeks it has become very noticeable that the 787s that are on the flightline aren't flying that much despite many of these airplanes being outside for weeks and many that should have taken their B-1 flights have not made their first flight.

SPEEA has encouraged its members to take workplace actions such as slow downs and rejection of voluntary overtime.  These workplace actions may be the reason why there has been a drop off in flight and ground testing activity on the deliverable 787s at Everett.  I count at least 6 aircraft that haven't had any recent flight activity or has been out on the flightline for some time but have yet to take a first flight (this includes one aircraft in the paint hangar as of this morning). Boeing engineers are needed not just for design and production of the aircraft but are also for the pre-delivery ground and flight testing to resolve issues prior to delivery to the customer.

These workplace actions won't be enough to stop production and delivery but can significantly slow the delivery process down.  SPEEA members hasn't taken a vote, yet, on whether to authorize a strike but with the current contract expired and the negotiations deadlocked, it may not be too long before that happens.  If and when that happens then it is up to the leadership at SPEEA to call a strike and then all bet are off and production at Boeing's commercial aircraft plants will drastically slow down. 

In the event of a strike by SPEEA, Boeing will probably turn to management engineers to fill the void but that will probably still won't be enough. IAM751 has a current contract with Boeing but I'm not sure if they would honor a picket line by SPEEA or not.  As mentioned earlier, Boeing is asking for federal mediation in the contract talks so we'll have to see how that plays out.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Possible breakthrough between China and Boeing over 787s?

This afternoon Everett photographer, Matt Cawby, tweeted that ZA382 (LN 43, B-2727) has been moved from the South Ramp storage area to the Everett Fuel Dock.  I'm going out on a limb in saying that this may be an indication that the issues between CAAC and Boeing may have been resolved to allow delivery of 787s to the 3 Chinese carriers that have them on order (Air China, China Southern Airlines, and Hainan Airlines).

This particular aircraft has made only one flight in late October and has since been put into storage.  One other 787 for Hainan flew 4 times before being stored on the South Ramp but it has not been moved yet.

I cannot offer any other reason for the move other than either 1) preparations for delivery to the customer 2) Preparing the aircraft to be flown to a long term storage facility in the US Southwest (i.e. Arizona or Southern California desert storage) or 3) Boeing carrying out some maintenance or assembly tasks that need to be done.

Still it has raised eyebrows and I'll try to ascertain why the aircraft is at the fuel dock.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Updated 787 firing order - through 1st quarter 2013

First center wingbox section for ZA450 (LN 108) for British Airways
Photo Courtesy of Saj Ahmad ( and British Airways

787s for British Airways and Norwegian Air Shuttle (leased through ILFC) will begin final assembly in the 1st quarter of 2013 are the highlights of the firing order of the 1st quarter of 2013.

The customer list for LN 101 to LN 115 are: ANA, British Airways, China Southern Airlines, Japan Airlines, ILFC (Aeromexico), ILFC (Norwegian Air Shuttle), LAN, Qatar Airways, Thomson Airways.

LN 115 should enter the final assembly system by the end of March, 2013.  Here are the airlines and their allocations of 787s from this batch of 15 aircraft.

ANA (3)

ZA120 (LN 101)
ZA514 (LN 107)
ZA121 (LN 110)

British Airways (3)

ZA450 (LN 108)
ZA451 (LN 111)
ZA452 (LN 114)

China Southern Airlines (1)

ZA386 (LN 104)*

Japan Airlines (1)

ZA186 (LN 105)

ILFC/Aeromexico (1)

ZA561 (LN 115)

ILFC/Norwegian Air Shuttle (2)

ZA576 (LN 102)
ZA577 (LN 112)

LAN (1)

ZA539 (LN 113)*

Qatar Airways (2)

ZA466 (LN 103)
ZA467 (LN 109)*

TUI Travel PLC/Thomson Airways (1)

ZA320 (LN 106)

*These airplanes will be assembled in Charleston.

Again it seems that Boeing is allocating 4 787s (two for each line) to Everett and one for Charleston.  Everett is at 4 per month while Charleston is at 1 per month.  In mid 2013 the rate is to go up to 7/month though I am not sure if the two additional aircraft per month will be split evenly between Everett and Charleston.  Please see my table for complete information.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Boeing Execs Update on the 787 program through RBC Conference Call

Larry Loftis, VP and General Manager, 787 program and Pat Shanahan, Senior VP and general manager, Airplane Programs at Boeing were hosted on an investor conference call presented by RBC this afternoon.

Here's a synopsis of their comments and what was said on the call:

To date Boeing has delivered 38 787s overall and 35 in 2012 to 8 different customers. Boeing customers have told the company that the aircraft is meeting fuel burn expectations and passengers are also delivering great feedback in terms of comfort of the aircraft.

Started the year at 2.5/month production rate and will end the year at the current rate of 5/month. Boeing is tracking to plan to increase production to 10/month by the end of 2013. 

The next rate increase is to 7/month which is expected in mid 2013, whereupon it will stabilize at that rate before increasing to 10/month.

Boeing is well past the 90% engineering release milestone on the 787-9 and that was completed about 3-4 weeks ahead of schedule. The supply chain is largely the same as the 787-8 but have bought some work back in house. Schedule – the airplane is meeting all engineering milestones.  It is on original schedules with some suppliers ahead of schedule. The major components are currently being assembled by the major (tier 1) suppliers while wing assembly will start later this year into the very early part of 2013.  Boeing will introducing the 787-9 in to final assembly in late spring – late summer of 2013 and flight test in fall 2013 with EIS in early 2014. There will be 3 flight test aircraft with all three currently in production. the wing spars are currently being built at MHI (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries). There is a buffer in the schedule but it is looking like they won’t need it. The 787-9 weight has been stable and has improved by a couple hundred pounds. Boeing is planning for  6 months for flight test, but has been doing flight testing on the 787-8 to gather data to support the 787-9.  We now know why Boeing has been flying ZA005 lately. There is extra flow in the production system that has been allotted to the 787-9 in case there are issues during assembly of that aircraft.
Boeing has 3 final assembly lines going for the 787 and allows them a greater degree of flexibility to manage the ramp up of the 787 while introducing the 787-9 into the system.  The current plan is to continue to have the production split between Everett and Charleston at 70%/30%.  Boeing has been very pleased with the improvements in the production system over the last 12 months. The quality of the work and processes improve everyday, and the learning curve is tracking to their expectations. The curve at Charleston has been very good (for a new site, makes your wonder if Boeing had better expectations). Boeing has transferred best practices at Everett to Charleston and information is flowing back and forth very freely.  Boeing's intents is to make sure they have one standard set of best practices for both sites (one production system for 2 sites). 

Boeing has the ability to go beyond the 10/month production rate. The ability to go beyond 10/month will be determined by the market.  There's no constraint on bricks and mortar aspect of increasing the rate. Boeing has an understanding of the capabilities of the suppliers as well as their own capabilities.  The question will be the capacity of the suppliers and the rate to adding capacity.

By the end of the year, Boeing will have 60% of pre-LN 66 airplanes delivered. The remaining aircraft that are awaiting change incorporation will be delivered during 2013 to 2015 (Boeing currently has 23 aircraft undergoing change incorporation or awaiting change incorporation including 3 test airplanes).  The ones that remain are the lower line number and will take longer to complete as the extent of the changes  needed are extensive. There are firm homes for the majority of the planes that have yet to go through change incorporation. there are a couple that still need to find a customer (I'm guessing that these are ZA004 and ZA005).

With regards to delays, Boeing says that there  aren't any systemic delays (which would take weeks or months to resolve) in the production system but one off delays amounting  to a few days delivery of the 787 to customers because they are still learning.  Boeing would not comment on delays to specific customers or countries (China).

On the 787-10, Boeing is not ready to launch yet as they still have some work to do before they are ready to launch the program.  (Note they have said anything about Authority to Offer, ATO). Technically they are confident of the 787-10; operationally and financially they are trying to be more measured with their plans for the aircraft.  They are expecting an EIS at the back end of this decade (2017-2019 timeframe?).  It depends on when Boeing has finished the work they are engaged in with regards to the 787-10.  Boeing expects substitutions between the family of 787 models (go up or down within the different 787 models).

Friday, November 23, 2012

Boeing meets low end 787 delivery target for 2012 deliveries

At the beginning of the year, Boeing laid out its 2012 787/747 target estimate at between 70 and 85 aircraft with the split at 50/50 between the two aircraft.  This meant that Boeing was planning to deliver between 35 and 42 787s this year. Through out the year Boeing maintained that target and on November 20th, Boeing delivered two 787, one each to Qatar Airways and United Airlines, which allowed them to reach 35 787s delivered in 2012, the lower end of their estimate.  This accomplishment reinforces the belief that the 787 production system has recovered and places the company in an excellent position to continue the climb to 10/month on 787 production rate. Word has it that Boeing is asking suppliers about going beyond 10/month and push output to 14/month by late in the decade (around 2018-2019).  It still in the planning phase but this is probably great news for the program overall especially since Boeing is on the verge of a full launch of the 787-10.

Boeing certainly can reach the upper end of their estimate (another 7) with the 787s that are on the flightline preparing for first flight.  ZA289 (LN 55, N45905) for United Airlines made it's first flight on November 21st and I expect ZA462 (LN 62, A7-BCK) to fly around Nov. 23rd and both should deliver next month.  Two other 787s have had engine runs according to Matt Cawby on his photo blog. Both ZA285 (LN 45) and ZA510 (LN 59, JA817A) should fly by the first week of December if not by the end of November.  That is four 787s that I expect to deliver in December in addition to ZA538 (LN 80, CC-BCC) for LAN.

Here are the potential deliveries through Dec. 31st:

ZA285 (LN 45, N26901) - United Airlines
ZA286 (LN 50, N26902) - United Airlines

ZA238 (LN 54, VT-ANJ) - Air India*
ZA289 (LN 55, N45905) - United Airlines
ZA510 (LN 59, JA817A) - ANA
ZA239 (LN 60, VT-ANK) - Air India*
ZA462 (LN 62, A7-BCK) - Qatar Airways
ZA240 (LN 65, VT-ANL) - Air India*
ZA271 (LN 78, SP-LRB) - LOT Polish Airlines**
ZA538 (LN 80, CC-BBC) - LAN Airlines
ZA464 (LN 82, A7-BCC) - Qatar Airways
ZA512 (LN 83, JA818A) - ANA
ZA183 (LN 84, JA829J) - Japan Airlines

*Dependent on Air India obtaining bridge financing to pay for the aircraft

**Supposed to have delivery flight to Poland in early January but may contractually deliver in December

Of these listed 8 I believe are highly probable deliveries  but that does not include any for Air India or the aircraft for LOT Polish Airlines. It is rumored that Air India will take delivery of a 787 by the end of November but that is all dependent on the carriers' finances.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Weather likely to slow down 787 deliveries over next few days

The Everett weather may be looking to put a hold on deliveries for the next few days and may ground aircraft  all together.  The Seattle area is expecting rain....a lot of it as Mt Ranier is forecasted to have 10 FEET of snow but the lower elevations, while not getting that much, will probably be clobbered as well with large amounts of rain.  Boeing is still stuck at 35 deliveries in total to 8 customers.  There has been some movements of assembled aircraft with ZA504 (LN 15) moving to the Runaway storage area and ZA150 (LN 17) moving to the EMC.  In a surprise move, ZA381 (LN 36, B-2726) was moved to the EMC, ostensibly for change incorporation.  This MAY indicate some movement to deliver 787s to the Chinese (China Southern and Hainan) but it's too early to tell.  This aircraft could easily go back to the temporary parking/storage that it had previously occupied. ZA175 (LN 20) finally made it inside the EMC to continue change incorporation and finally ZA287 (LN 52, N26903) was moved to the paint hangar and should be out soon. Interestingly ZA285 (LN 45, N29601) is still out on the flightline even though it was pulled out of the EMC earlier.

With the Thanksgiving holidays coming up along with the rainy weather in the Pacific Northwest, don't expect too much happening out of Everett this week.  There is supposed to be a line move early next week.  Lastly, there is a rumor that Air India will be able to pay for another 787 this week and fly it away from Charleston but so far nothing has happened.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Into the 2012 787 delivery home stretch...what can we expect

As we head into the last six and a half weeks of 2012, the delivery picture for the 787 is getting clearer as to what we can expect over the next 45 days.

To start I'm listing the 787s that may be delivered in the weeks to come before the end of the year.

ZA261 (LN 44, ET-AOP) - Ethiopian
ZA285 (LN 45, N26901) - United Airlines
ZA286 (LN 50, N26902) - United Airlines
ZA238 (LN 54, VT-ANJ) - Air India*
ZA289 (LN 55, N26905) - United Airlines
ZA460 (LN 57, A7-BCA) - Qatar Airways
ZA510 (LN 59, JA817A) - ANA
ZA239 (LN 60, VT-ANK) - Air India*
ZA462 (LN 62, A7-BCK) - Qatar Airways
ZA240 (LN 65, VT-ANL) - Air India*
ZA271 (LN 78, SP-LRB) - LOT Polish Airlines**
ZA538 (LN 80, CC-BBC) - LAN Airlines
ZA464 (LN 82, A7-BCC) - Qatar Airways
ZA512 (LN 83, JA818A) - ANA
ZA183 (LN 84, JA829J) - Japan Airlines

*Dependent on Air India obtaining bridge financing to pay for the aircraft
**Supposed to have delivery flight to Poland in early January but may contractually deliver in December

There are 15 aircraft listed here but I have doubts about 4 of them being contractually delivered by Dec. 31st (as noted with the asterisks).  This means that 11, I believe, will be firmly delivered by the end of the year.  Boeing is currently at 32 aircraft that were delivered in 2012, which means they can potentially deliver 43 airplanes. If Air India and LOT take delivery of the aircraft that I have highlighted then the nunber goes to 47.  One can imagine if Air India and the Chinese carriers had no issues, then the number of deliveries would be just north of 50. Boeing is certain to achieve the higher end of their 787 delivery forecast.  Of the aircraft that are currently at the EMC and undergoing change incorporation, I don't anticipate that any these 787s will be completed in time to be delivered this year.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Big week for the 787 program

Boeing saw two 787 customer fly aways this week as mostly positive news about the program reinforced the view that the program is on a solid course to recover and to become profitable. 
First came news (that this blog revealed in an earlier post) that Boeing is producing the 787 at 5/month including one per month from Boeing Charleston.

This further reinforces the view that Boeing is on a solid track to achieve the planned production rate of 7/month in Everett and 3/month in North Charleston. ZA511 (LN 83, JA818A) was rolled out last week and represents the first aircraft built at the 5/month rate.

Boeing's Board of Directors gave a soft ok to Boeing's Commercial Sales staff to begin discussions with customers regarding the 787-10 which is a double stretch of the baseline 787-8.  This aircraft, which will compete head on with Airbus' A330-300 and A350-900 and will be marketed as a 777-200 replacement, has generated a lot of positive feedback.  Qatar Airways' is reportedly in negotiations to convert some of the 30 firm and 30 options that they have on the 787-8 into the 787-10.  Since the 787-10 is not due to be delivered around 2018 or 2019, conversions will allow Boeing to free up short term delivery slots for 787-8 and 787-9 thus helping sales of those versions of the Dreamliner.  Given that the program needs sales of over 1000 787s to achieve breakeven, the 787-10 will certainly help Boeing attain that as it is rumored that Boeing can sell as many as 500 787-10s.  Boeing doesn't have the full ATO (Authority To Offer) but it is widely rumored that this should happen very very shortly, (as soon as this month) which leads me to believe that Boeing will probably have one or two launch customers lined up with an MoU.  These sales won't be posted as firm until next year however.  Other potential customers include British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Ethihad, Air France, Lufthansa, American Airlines, United Airlines, and any carrier with a 777-200 or an A330-300.

The not so good news is that Gulf Air is reducing the number of 787s they have on order.  The order book once had 24 787ss for the Middle Eastern carrier which has been reduced to the current 16 and may go as low as 12.

Boeing had official handovers of 787s this week to Qatar Airways and LOT Polish Airlines.  Both aircraft were contractually delivered earlier so these "deliveries" were ceremonial (read: for the media) in nature as was the fly aways to the airlines' respective home bases.

Looking ahead Boeing will load another 787 tomorrow into position 1 on the surge line.  This will be ZA317 (LN 92, G-TUIA) for Thomson Airways, the British charter airline.  It'll be the first 787 delivered to a British carrier but it certainly won't be the only British carrier to receive the 787 in 2013.  Boeing will push out ZA183 (LN 84, JA829J) for Japan Airlines.  This aircraft should be delivered by the end of December to the Japanese carrier.

In terms of deliveries, there are currently 5 787s that are ready to be delivered but two of them are for Air India and given the precarious state of the bridge financing needed to pay for the deliveries, it is highly unlikely that they will be delivered anytime soon but Boeing has prepared them for delivery.  There are one each for Untied Airlines, Qatar and Ethiopian that are ready.  According to my sources, Qatar should take their third 787 next week, Ethiopian will take their fourth later this week and Untied should follow with their third late next week.  There are several more that are preparing to fly or are in the middle of Boeing/customer test flights.  LAN's third had its B-1 flight which was cut short due to a squawk that developed 20 minutes into the flight. Matt Caby reported that the issue was in the (air conditioning) packs. One 787 each for Qatar and United should be flying very soon though expect their deliveries to occur around December if the B-1 flights are not performed this week.  ANA's 17th aircraft is on the flightline but probably won't fly until the end of this month at the earliest. 

Boeing has the potential to deliver at least 3 more 787s this month in addition to the 2 already delivered but if Air India gets its act together then we can see two more 787s delivered this month for a total of 7.  Right now 5 is more realistic for a delivery number in November.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Air India 787 deliveries put on hold...again

It seems that 787 deliveries to Air India are on hold.....again.  Apparently Air India is in the middle of a a "tussle" between the Indian Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Civil Aviation.  They whole debacle has scuttled the bridge financing needed to pay for the 787 purchases (later to be paid back when Air India arranges a sale-lease back agreement with another party).

The carrier has issued a new RFP for bridge financing.  In the meantime look for Boeing Charleston to be turned into a a 78 parking lot as 787 for Air India, China Southern and Hainan Airlines take up all the available parking stalls at the facility (there are currently 8 stalls for 787s).  There are 9 787s that are built, will be built or in production there and all of them are for the aforementioned carriers with a 10th at Ft. Worth being painted.

Given this information I'm revising my delivery expectation downward by another three aircraft. I expect Boeing will deliver 14 more 787s by the end of December for a total of 44 787s for 2012 and 47 deliveries since the program started delivering in 2011.

Between the two assembly locations and the three airlines, there are 22 total airframes (thus far) that are assembled, going through assembly or will be assembled that are affected by the issues with the CAAC and the Indian Government.  Unsurprisingly, it is the governmental entities of India and China (a tribute to Socialism) that are being the barriers to delivery.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Boeing closing on 787 delivery target but can they make 50?

Through October 2012, Boeing has delivered 30 787s to 7 customers.  Their publicly announced target was between 35 and 42.  They will certainly hit the lower target this month and the upper target in December but the question is can they deliver 50 787s this year. 

In earlier posts I've maintained that they can deliver 50 787s by year end. However given recent developments with China that target will now have to be revised downwards.  They can certainly attain 42 deliveries and higher but it will not be 50 airplanes.

Here's breakdown of whom I think will get 787s in November and December:

Air India - 3 deliveries

ZA238 (LN 54, VT-ANJ) - November
ZA239 (LN 60, VT-ANK) - November
ZA240 (LN 65, VT-ANL) - December

ANA - 2 deliveries

ZA512 (LN 83) - November
ZA510 (LN 59) - December

Ethiopian - 1 delivery

ZA261 (LN 44, ET-AOP) - November

Japan Airlines - 1 delivery

ZA183 (LN 84, JA829J) - December

LAN - 1 delivery

ZA538 (LN 80, CC-BBC) - November

LOT Polish Airlines - 2 deliveries

ZA270 (LN 61, SP-LRA) - November
ZA271 (LN 78, SP-LRB) - December

Qatar Airways - 4 deliveries

ZA460 (LN 57, A7-BCA) - November
ZA463 (LN 64, A7-BCL) - November
ZA462 (LN 62, A7-BCC) - December
ZA464 (LN 82) - December

United Airlines - 3 deliveries

ZA286 (LN 50, N26902) - November
ZA289 (LN 55, N26905) - November
ZA287 (LN 52, N26903) - December

This totals 17 Dreamliners that would be delivered thought there is an outside chance that one more air frame for Japan Airlines cold be delivered by the end of December.  The total for 2012 would be 47 airplanes in total which would certainly exceed the high end of Boeing forecasted deliveries.  Again the main driver in the reduction is the lack of deliveries to China Southern Airlines and Hainan Airlines.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

787 now solidly at 5/month production rate. Chinese 787s into storage, LOT 787s delivery schedule clarified....a bit

Boeing has moved three 787s for two Chinese carriers into long term storage at Everett's South Ramp while a fourth 787 awaiting change incorporation is also being stored on a runaway parking spot.

Boeing has moved ZA380 (LN 34, B-2725) and ZA382 (LN 43, B-2727) bot h for China Southern Airlines as well as ZA430 (LN 73, B-2728) for Hainan Airlines into the South Ramp and has taped and sealed the aircraft to protect them until they are ready to be delivered. ZA381 (LN 36, B-2726) had been stored on the Everett's RWY 11/29 with other 787s awaiting change incorporation and will probably be there for some time until the issues with the CAAC are resolved. There are 7 other 787s that are in production or final assembly and I am not sure if those airframes will be reallocated or will be produced for Hainan and China Southern and then stored. It seems to me that it will be the former as buyer furnished equipment such as the engines and galleys have, at this stage, been ordered and delivered or will be delivered soon to Boeing's facilities in Charleston and Everett.  These items require lead time and Boeing did go ahead with production on the Chinese airframes even through the issues with China was not resolved.

On a brighter note, I received information regarding LOT Polish Airlines' 787 deliveries.  The first contractual delivery of ZA270 (LN 61, SP-LRA) is tentatively scheduled for November 9th.  This aircraft will remain in Everett for about 5 days for crew training before flying to Warsaw on the 14th.

Future deliveries flights of LOT's other 787s to Warsaw are scheduled as follows:

ZA271 (LN 78, SP-LRB) - delivery to Warsaw is in early January 2013 (probably contractual delivery in late December 2012)

The other three in production are to be delivered at monthly intervals during the first quarter of 2013 but they will all be waiting in Everett in storage which begs the question,why start producing them now when delivery is months away?  I don't have an answer for that, unfortunately.

In production news, Charleston is starting to move faster on production out put of 787s.  The 5th Charleston built 787 was moved out to the flightline within the last couple of days.  This is ZA241 (LN 72, VT-ANM) for Air India. This means that Boeing has achieved a 1/month production rate on the 787s at Charleston and a solid 4/month at Everett.. During the day today, Boeing sent ZA240 (LN 65, VT-ANL) to Ft Worth for painting and ZA239 (LN 60, VT-ANK) was flown back to Charleston to finish pre-delivery test flights.  It is rumored that Boeing will deliver ZA238 (LN 54, VT-ANJ) this week to Air India but there is still some uncertainty due to Air India's financing the purchases of the Dreamliner.

Boeing continues to work on the '87s at Everett that need re-work.  They had recently started change incorporation on ZA504 (LN 15) for ANA and this past weekend, they moved ZA234 (LN 30, VT-ANE) to the EMC.  Given the amount of re-work needed on these frames it'll be sometime around the first quarter of 2013 before this aircraft is delivered.

Friday, November 2, 2012

I'm Baaaack...but only for the moment - Post Sandy 787 Update

Hello everyone,
First off I want to thank you all who have sent me best wishes during the last few days. It's been difficult as I have no power, heat (temps are in the low 40s F overnight) and hot water (for bathing, cleaning, etc.).  I'm hopingto have power back in the enxt couple of days but we're not sure when it'll happen.  Right now I'm camped out in the local public library where there is WIFI (real slow due to all the residents who are also here), electricity and heat.  I'll put up a post but not sure when I will be able to do so again.

Anyway on to business.

Boeing had two quick deliveries on Halloween, let's call them "ghost deliveries" as they weren't expected.  In particular the delivery to United of its 2nd 787.  the information coming from United and even Boeing itself didn't indicate a delivery was imminent but they did deliver ZA290 (LN 77, N26906) on Wednesday.  United just announced that they have finished FAA certification of their 787 operations and now should be ready to start limited service on Monday, Nov. 4th. Boeing should still be able to deliver the two Dreamliners to the carrier in November.  These frame are re-worked frames so we would have to see how fast they would go through the pre-delivery and test flight process as ZA290 was a new build that didn't need any re-work and had only needed 2 test flights before being delivered to United.  It's not known when United will press ZA290 into service. 

The second airplane that was delivered was ZA511 (LN 63, JA816A) to ANA which is a reworked frame that had 3 test flights prior to being delivered.  For October, Boeing matched the monthly high of 7 deliveries which was achieved in September.

November as mentioned in the prior post may be big but there are issues that may depress deliveries.  First is the uncertainty over deliveries to the Chinese carriers.  There is a certification issue, rumor has it, with the Chinese aviation authorities (CAAC). 

When asked about it Boeing replied: "In keeping with our standard practices, we work with regulatory authorities in advance of local airlines taking delivery of a new model of airplane. Also, as we’ve stated before, we don’t provide forward-looking comments regarding the production or delivery schedules of our customers."

The issue with CAAC has been reinforced when Boeing put both  ZA382 (LN 43, B-2727) for China Southern Airlines and ZA430 (LN 73, B2728) for Hainan into storage at Everett's South Ramp.  This indicates that the issue will take some time to sort out.  Boeing has one more 787s for Hainan Airlines that is on the flightline but so far they have not made a move to store it...yet.  There are several 787s that are in production for both Chinese carriers.  In addition to the aforementioned airplanes that have flown or been pulled out of final assembly and on the flightline, there are 2 787s for China Southern that are in storage or in change incorporation.  At Boeing Charleston there are 3 787s in final assembly for Hainan Airlines and 3 more (all for China Southern) are to start final assembly at either Everett of Boeing Charleston by the end of the year or early January.  This is a total of 11 airframes that are potentially to be stored if the issues are not resolved with CAAC.

Boeing as of today has 14 airplanes that are in pre-flight, flight testing or ready to be delivered.  Rumor has it that ZA238 (LN 54, VT-ANJ) is to be delivered sometime next week to Air India.  It was to have been delivered last month and it is unknown as to why there was a delay but this is Air India. 'Nuff said.

Qatar Airways seems to be moving towards taking 2 more 787s in November though I'm still trying to get confirmation on this LOT Polish Airlines should take their first 787 in about 10 days as well.  That is 4 aircraft thus far.

Here is what I think will be delivered this month:

ZA261 - Ethiopian - 2 test flights already and flying a 3rd today
ZA286 - United Airlines - in pre-flight
ZA238 - Air India - ready for delivery
ZA289 - United Airlines - in pre-flight
ZA460 - Qatar Airways - 2 test flights thus far
ZA239 - Air India - 2 test flights and in paint
ZA270 - LOT Polish Airlines - 2 Boeing test flights thus far
ZA463 - Qatar Airways - 4 test flights thus far
ZA271 - LOT Polish Airlines - in pre-flight may deliver late this month or by end of December
ZA538 - LAN - in pre-flight and should fly soon

This is a total of 9 (with a possibility of 10) 787s being delivered this month.  Obviously I am not counting any of the Chinese airframes. It remains to be seen how those airframes that are currently in production will fare in terms of getting through pre-flight and being delivered by the end of the month but I can see one more airframe being delivered to ANA in November (probably the re-work frame) and one for JAL may also make it by the end of the month.

Boeing also has moved one of the "terrible teens" from runaway storage to the EMC to start chagne incorporation.  This aircraft is ZA504 (LN 15).  Right now this aircraft is listed to go to ANA but this may change.  ANother aircraft for Qatar Airways has completed change incorporation and paint is now spotted at the Everett Fuel Dock.  This aircraft is ZA462 (LN 62, A7-BCC).  Lastly, Boeig loaded ZA184 (LN 89, JA830A) into position 1 in the 40-24 surge line to start final assembly.  Boeing is keeping up the assembly rate at around 5 airplanes per month.