Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Even more delays for the Dreamliner

It is understood that the awaiting of Boeing's all-new 787 Dreamliner aircraft is facing additional delays. The company likely will face financial penalties for late deliveries as a result and this drove its stock price down nearly 5%.

Boeing is expected to announce up to a three-month delay, perhaps as early as Wednesday morning. The Dreamliner team is struggling with technical and manufacturing challenges, which include continuing parts shortages, preparations to ramp up production, and struggles to get the first plane ready for its inaugural flight.

Additional delays mean Boeing would be hard pressed to deliver 109 Dreamliners in 2009, as promised. As news of a potential delay began to spread, Wall Street wasted little time selling off the stock. Boeing shares fell 3.81 yesterday or 4.7%.

A Boeing spokesman on Tuesday declined to comment on reports that the Chicago-based aerospace giant was preparing to announce a further delay in the Dreamliner program. Boeing has announced orders for 817 Dreamliners from 53 airlines and leasing firms, pushing the list-price value of the program to $135 billion (£67.5 billion).

Boeing is trying to avoid copying the two-year delay that ensnared Airbus and its much larger A380 Super-Jumbo jetliner. What's more, further 787 delays could send some customers flocking to Airbus, which now has a much more credible lightweight, medium-size jetliner, the A350, to offer as an alternative. (source: Business Week) - BP fined for a record amount (Article on Dreamliner delays) (Also see Wednesday 12th December 2007 entry for more on this.)

Terra Firma, owner of EMI, plans to cut 2,000 jobs and reduce costs by £200 million. This was heard by more than 500 EMI employees who crowded into the Odeon cinema on Kensington High Street, near the embattled music company’s head office yesterday.

Two meetings of about an hour each were held for staff, who filled the cinema’s largest auditorium to hear a presentation from Guy Hands, chief executive of Terra Firma, the company’s new private equity owner.

Few of the 100 or so staff from the first meeting who emerged into the drizzle would comment, but those who did said that they were not angry at the prospect of mass redundancies, but accepted that EMI needed a new direction. Some said that the presentation by Mr Hands was “very inspiring” and that he had been given a round of applause.

Some of the 400 staff who left after the second meeting, which started at 11.30am and ended shortly before 1pm, said that they were worried about losing their jobs, but agreed that change was unavoidable.

Mr Hands slipped out of the cinema via the side door without commenting. Lord Birt, the former BBC director-general who joined Terra Firma as an adviser in 2005, also attended the event but refused to comment. (source: Timesonline)

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