By Matt Tomsic
Published Aug. 27, 2012
Boeing South Carolina will deliver its first 787 Dreamliner this week, though the company’s customer will receive a plane built by workers in Everett, Wash., not one of the three built in the Lowcountry.
Boeing’s first customer, Air India, has its delivery team at the aerospace giant’s North Charleston campus, a spokesperson said. (File Photo/Leslie Burden)
Five planes are now in the flight line at Boeing’s North Charleston campus, Eslinger said. Boeing South Carolina built three, and the company’s Puget Sound operations built the other two.
Air India expects to receive its first and second 787 during August, according to a request for proposals on the government-owned airline’s website.
Air India included its delivery expectations in a request for proposals for bridge financing of as much as $500 million for the airline’s third, fourth, fifth and sixth Dreamliners. The airline expects those deliveries to fall between August and December.
Boeing South Carolina officials expected to deliver the first Lowcountry-built Dreamliner in June, but that date came and went as Boeing and Air India negotiated a compensation package for the 787 program’s three-year delay.
Adam Pilarski, an aerospace analyst, previously said Air India was trying to use the delay as leverage before taking the airplanes. Pilarski is senior vice president of Avitas.
“I am not privy to the details of the contract and the negotiation, but India or the government of India is trying to get as much out of Boeing as possible,” Pilarski said, adding that some of Air India’s demands — like reports of a $1 billion payment from Boeing — are childish.
“And I think that it’s action by government bureaucrats (who) do not realize how the real world works,” Pilarski said.