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Royal Jordanian Airlines is expecting a delay of up to 30 months for the introduction of its first Boeing 787 as a result of the production setbacks recently disclosed by the airframer.
Each site was designed as an ultra-lean facility with a highly trained staff capable of signing off on the airworthiness of their own work. Boeing saw this as the next generation of aerospace manufacturing teams of "super mechanics" would build the 787. Each "super mechanic" would hold multiple manufacturing certifications to expedite the production process to build a greater degree of quality assurance directly into the integration of the aircraft.
But rather than a highly trained staff, Global Aeronautica and Vought were peopled by mechanics whose expertise lay outside aerospace. One Boeing veteran says that some staff had no manufacturing background.
Boeing 787 customers are being advised that they face delays of at least two years to their first deliveries following the latest programme slip, and are preparing to seek compensation.
Industry sources say that the average delay to first delivery is around 27 months. Air Canada, which has 37 787s on order, says it has been informed by Boeing that its first delivery will be pushed back by 24-30 months to around January 2012.