Page last updated at 18:53 GMT, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 19:53 UK

Boeing eyes Dreamliner solution

Boeing Dreamliner
The Dreamliner project has been regularly behind schedule

Planemaker Boeing says it has found a "technical solution" to a problem which had delayed the appearance of its new 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

However, Boeing did not say when the plane would fly. Last month, Boeing said it had delayed the maiden flight of the Dreamliner once again.

Boeing also reported a 17% rise in second-quarter profits to $998m (£417m), helped by its defence unit.

Overall sales rose 1% to $17.15bn, with defence sales up 9% to $8.7bn.

The Chicago-based company said that it had received 57 new orders during the period, but that 52 existing orders had been cancelled.

Revenue impact

Last month's delay of the Dreamliner was the fifth time the launch date had been put back. The long-range, medium-sized plane is already more than two years behind schedule.

Releasing its second-quarter results, Boeing said it would reveal a new delivery schedule for the 787 in the current financial quarter.

"The 787 programme has identified a technical solution to the previously announced requirement to reinforce an area within the side-of-body joint, and is currently evaluating alternative ways to implement that solution," Boeing said in a statement.

"The company expects to complete its assessment of the schedule and financial implications during the third quarter."

However, analysts were disappointed that Boeing did not announce a permanent fix to the problem.

"As expected, the 787 now looks increasingly likely not to fly at all this year - if that's the case, with 777 production decreasing next year and the likelihood of no 787 deliveries, the impact on revenues for 2010 could be profound," said aerospace analyst Saj Ahmad.

During the second financial quarter the Dreamliner programme had new orders for 13 planes, but orders for 41 planes were cancelled.

The firm said that total confirmed orders were now for 850 aircraft from 56 customers.

Both Boeing and Airbus face dwindling orders for new planes as the global recession hits demand for air travel and cargo services.

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