Vietnam Airlines Unhappy With Boeing Delays

September 28, 2009

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The head of Vietnam Airlines expressed concern on Monday about production delays to Boeing's 787 Dreamliner and said the group had not made up its mind whether to cancel any of the 16 aircraft it has ordered.

Vietnam Airlines has eight of the next-generation passenger jets on order and a leasing affiliate, Vietnam Aircraft Leasing Company, has ordered a further eight.

Production of the plane has fallen about two years behind schedule after a series of technical hitches.

"We are not happy about the constant delays. It affects our business plan," Vietnam Airlines President and chief executive Pham Ngoc Minh said.

"We expected to get our planes in 2009, then 2010, and now nobody can confirm to us which is the exact delivery date. I can be patient but it gives us a lot of headaches."

Asked whether Vietnam Airlines might cancel any of its 787 orders as a result of the delays, he said; "We have not yet made any decision".

He declined to say whether Vietnam Air would receive penalty payments for the delays.

The executive was speaking on the sidelines of a ceremony organised by Boeing rival EADS, the parent company of European planemaker Airbus.

Vietnam Airlines has ordered 10 A350s, the Airbus model designed to compete with the 787 but which is not due to reach the market until the middle of next decade.

The Vietnamese airline is the latest carrier to express disquiet over the 787 delays. The head of Oman Air last week hinted at possible 787 cancellations and said a decision would be made after its maiden flight which is due by the end of this year.