How The Dreamliner Is Costing Boeing

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Rolls Royce-powered Boeing 787 Dreamliners flew their last certification flight Aug. 13, but the aircraft will be a drag on Boeing's bottom line until the 1,000th jet is out the door, according to an Aug. 16 report. According to a report by the New York firm Bernstein Research, the jet's initial popularity is actually partly to blame. Orders flowed in so quickly when the program launched that 800 orders were locked in before the program's rising costs became apparent and could be factored into new list prices. Fortunately, that popularity also suggests that the 1,000th delivery may not be too far off.

According to the report, Boeing could begin seeing positive returns in the 787 program by 2015. The research firm says that Boeing sold roughly 1,000 of the jets for an estimated $115 to $137 million, each. Currently, Boeing lists the 787-8 at $185 million and the 787-9 at $218 million. New orders and increases in production-line efficiency are expected to help the design turn the corner to profitability. Currently, nine Boeing 787 Dreamliners have completed more than 1,700 flights through 4,800 flight hours. And the first customer 787, to be delivered to ANA, hasn't yet flown a single hour. ANA is expected to take delivery of the first commercially operated Dreamliner sometime in September and put that aircraft on the line in October. GE powered versions are still in testing.