Boeing’s Third Dreamliner to Land in Tokyo as Deliveries Trail 2011 Goal

Boeing Co. (BA)’s third Dreamliner to enter service will land in Tokyo today, capping 2011 handovers of the new 787 and 747-8 models that probably fell short of projections.

The scheduled arrival of the All Nippon Airways Co. (9202) plane coincides with a Boeing report that will include last year’s delivery totals for the Dreamliner and the 747-8 freighter. The combined tally will probably be no more than 12 jets, missing a goal of 15 to 20, said Jason Gursky, a Citigroup Global Markets Inc. analyst.

Both the 787 and the new cargo version of Chicago-based Boeing’s iconic jumbo jet missed initial delivery targets, and the jets didn’t start reaching customers until late 2011. Last year’s deliveries were three 787s and nine 747-8s, the FlightBlogger website reported, citing unidentified people.

For the composite-plastic Dreamliner, “we expect lumpy deliveries and are therefore not overly concerned with 3-4 deliveries slipping out of 2011 and into 2012,” Gursky said in a note. “We expect 2012 to be the ‘Year of Boeing’ due to robust orders, production rates, cash flow and deliveries.”

Boeing probably will say its 2011 totals were two to three 787s, instead of a forecast for five to seven, and nine 747-8s, trailing the predicted 10 to 13, the San Francisco-based Gursky wrote yesterday.

All Nippon, which expects the 787 to reach Japan tonight, signed for its latest plane on Dec. 30, said Ryosei Nomura, a spokesman. The Tokyo-based carrier is the first airline to operate commercial flights with the Dreamliner.

‘Days Later’

“In general, when the final paperwork is signed by the customer, it’s delivered,” said Marc Birtel, a Boeing spokesman in Seattle. “Flyaway can sometimes happen days later at the discretion of the customer.”

Birtel declined to comment on 2011 order and delivery numbers ahead of an announcement at about 8 a.m. in Seattle, where the planemaker has its civilian aircraft hub. Airbus SAS (EAD), the world’s biggest commercial planemaker, will provide its figures Jan. 17.

A new 787 assembly line in South Carolina and the temporary surge line being constructed next to the initial one in Washington state are in good shape, Citigroup’s Gursky said. That suggests Boeing can meet a goal of producing 10 787s a month by 2013 once it finishes reworking jets built during the three-year delay to the plane’s entry into service, he wrote.

Deliveries are due to start this year of the 747-8 Intercontinental, the new passenger version of Boeing’s biggest model, the planemaker has said. The first handover had been set for late 2011.

Airbus extended its lead over Boeing through November, raking in 1,378 net aircraft orders, including about 1,200 firm purchases of the European company’s new A320neo, an upgraded version of the single-aisle jet. Boeing’s order tally stood at 518 in the first 11 months.

Airbus delivered 477 planes through November, compared with Boeing’s 426. On that basis, Toulouse, France-based Airbus has surpassed Boeing every year since 2003.

To contact the reporters on this story: Susanna Ray in Seattle at sray7@bloomberg.net; Chris Cooper in Tokyo at ccooper1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at edufner@bloomberg.net; Neil Denslow at ndenslow@bloomberg.net

Bloomberg reserves the right to edit or remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.