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Chinese airline: 787 not good enough

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Shanghai Airlines, one of six Chinese airlines that in 2005 ordered a total of 60 787s, may not take some of its nine planes, the airline’s chairman said.

Shanghai Airlines, one of six Chinese airlines that in 2005 ordered a total of 60 787s, may not take some of its nine planes, the airline’s chairman said.

Bloomberg News quoted Shanghai Airlines Chairman Zhou Chi as telling shareholders today that the 787s “don’t fully meet the quality that Boeing touted earlier.”

It’s not clear what he meant, but the first 787s are expected to be overweight, which will cut into range and performance. Boeing is keeping that information close to the vest but will have to share it with airlines such as ANA, which will get the first jets.

Boeing had said it would not know how heavy the first plane is until it has been weighed when assembly is complete. The first plane recently went to the paint factory before ground testing that will lead to first flight later in the second quarter.

Chairman Zhou said his airline is in talks with Boeing about possibly canceling delivery of some of its Dreamliners, Bloomberg reported.

“If Shanghai Airline doesn’t cancel the orders, the carrier will postpone delivery to the end of 2010 at the earliest from this year, Chairman Zhou said. Wang Yukui, Boeing’s China spokesman, declined to comment.

The carrier will also abandon earlier plans to order two or three aircraft this year, Zhou said. It will add six planes to its fleet in 2009, boosting seats by 11 percent, he said.” – reported Bloomberg.