By Alexander Cornwell
DUBAI (Reuters) -Emirates airline said on Wednesday deliveries of Boeing 787 Dreamliners it has ordered are delayed by at least a year until 2024 and that it could be even longer due to the U.S. plane maker’s continued delivery suspension over structural flaws.
The Dubai-based carrier ordered 30 of the twin-aisle jets nearly three years ago as part of a broader deal that saw it cut the number of orders for larger 777X aircraft, now also delayed.
“Now we know for sure that’s not going to happen in 2023. It may not even happen in 2024,” Chief Operating Officer Adel Al Redha told reporters when asked about Dreamliner deliveries.
He said the airline was in talks with Boeing over the delays to the 787 Dreamliner and 777X deliveries, though declined to comment further when asked if Emirates was seeking compensation.
Two sources told Reuters in April that Boeing was planning to resume 787 deliveries in the second half of this year.
Boeing, which has pushed back delivery of the 777X by four years to 2025, had no immediate comment on Al Redha’s remarks.
An industry source said contracts typically have a clause that allows the airline to cancel orders for single aircraft if delivery of that jet is delayed by more than a year.
It was not clear if Emirates’ contracts had this clause, but Al Redha said the airline wanted the 777X jets which although smaller are the closest in size to the Airbus A380 superjumbo.
Emirates operates the largest fleet of A380s but will over time replace the jet with 126 ordered 777X aircraft after Airbus cancelled the A380 programme more than three years ago.
The airline has said it would refurbish and operate for longer 120 A380 and 777-330ER aircraft in its current fleet due to delays to deliveries of new aircraft.
(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; editing by Kirsten Donovan)