Boeing needs '6 months' to make Dreamliner as reliable as 777

Written by AFP | Dubai | Updated: Nov 16 2013, 05:35am hrs
BoeingBoeing said it needs another six months to make its long-awaited 787 Dreamliner (Reuters)
Boeing today said it needs another six months to make its long-awaited 787 Dreamliner, which has been beset by a series of incidents, as reliable as its bestselling 777 airliner.

Marty Bentrott, a regional sales chief for Boeing, said the company was "making good progress" in resolving the problems with the Dreamliner, adding the aircraft's "reliability is improving".

"Do we have additional work ahead of us Yes. When do we think those problems will be behind us and the plane will be reliable I think it's probably another six months or so," Bentrott said at a press conference ahead of the Dubai Airshow, which opens tomorrow.

He acknowledged that Qatar Airways, one of the US giant's main customers in the Middle East, had had difficulties with the Dreamliner but said Boeing was providing support teams.

Qatar Airways has ordered 30 Dreamliners for its fleet, of which nine are operational.

Bentrott said that technical difficulties were normal after the launch of any new aircraft.

The 787 Dreamliner has encountered several serious difficulties since entering operation two years ago, especially with its batteries, causing the entire fleet to be grounded for about four months earlier this year.