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Boeing to Deliver First 787 as Soon as August

Boeing Co. (BA) will deliver the first 787 plane to initial customer All Nippon Airways Co. in August or September, ending more than three years of delays for the new aircraft.

The planemaker and ANA will conduct test flights in Japan in the week beginning July 4 ahead of the handover, they said in a joint statement in Tokyo today. The flights will include trips from Tokyo’s Haneda airport to Itami and Kansai airports in Osaka, and to airports in Okayama and Hiroshima.

Boeing has pledged to deliver as many as 20 Dreamliners this year after the first handover was delayed seven times by the use of new materials, engine-supply disruptions and other problems. Tokyo-based ANA, Asia’s largest listed carrier by sales, has started training pilots to fly the new planes that will help it cut fuel usage and boost services.

“The plane will allow us to fly to places we couldn’t have with similar models,” President Shinichiro Ito told reporters today in Tokyo. “We aim to start flights to Europe and the U.S. by the end of March.”

ANA has ordered 55 Dreamliners, making it the biggest airline customer for the plane. The 787-9 can fly as far as 8,500 nautical miles (15,740 kilometers), compared with 5,625 nautical miles for the Boeing 767-400ER, according to the planemaker’s website.

The carrier’s order for 50 aircraft in 2004 was worth about $6 billion at list prices. Japan Airlines Co. has ordered 35.

Boeing gained 1 percent to $76.32 yesterday in New York trading. It’s risen 17 percent this year. ANA rose 0.4 percent to 238 yen as of the 3 p.m. close of trade in Tokyo today. It has fallen 21 percent this year.

ANA aims to add 16 percent more international flights in the year started April 1, after forecasting a 15 percent increase in overseas flights a year earlier. The carrier is boosting flights to cities including Shanghai and Beijing, helped by the opening of an international terminal at Haneda Airport last year.