American Airlines Won’t Get Its Dreamliner on Time

(Chicago Tribune/TNS) -

The Boeing Dreamliner is late again.

This time, American Airlines will have to wait longer to get its first highly touted Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, as delays will push its delivery into the new year, American confirmed Wednesday.

The airline, now the world’s largest since combining a year ago with US Airways, was supposed to take delivery in November, only to have the date pushed back to this month and then into the first quarter of 2015.

Reasons for the delay include problems installing lie-flat seats in the premium cabin, said American spokeswoman Leslie Scott. She said American is working with Boeing and other manufacturers, as well as with the Federal Aviation Administration, to get some issues “squared away.”

“It’s not often we bring in a new fleet type,” she said. “The 787 is not a variant of something already out there. … The process to get everything signed off on is just a little different.”

The recent delivery dates were delayed years from the original one, as Boeing ran into design and production problems that resulted in deliveries starting more than three years late. The near-constant delays were so rampant that the plane earned the nickname 7-late-7. Then regulators grounded the plane last year for 100 days because of overheating onboard batteries.

But the Dreamliner generally gets rave reviews from passengers and airlines.

The 787, made mostly of composite material instead of aluminum, is more fuel efficient than planes it replaces.

United Airlines was the first U.S. carrier to get the 787, taking delivery of its first in 2012.

American’s Dreamliner will be placed on domestic routes before regularly flying international ones.

The delivery delay was first reported by The Dallas Morning News.