City A.M. Reporter
BOEING posted a 17 per cent increase in quarterly profit yesterday, topping expectations, thanks to growth in defence programmes. <br /><br />But the global recession pressured operations, and the company did not say when its futuristic but long-delayed 787 Dreamliner would fly.<br /><br />The world’s second-largest aircraft maker said it was still assessing the schedule for its 787 test flight and for deliveries one month after stunning the aerospace community with yet another delay.<br /><br />Boeing will issue a new schedule in the third quarter for its cutting-edge carbon-composite aircraft along with an updated earnings forecast. Second-quarter net profit rose to $998m (£606m) from $852m a year earlier. <br /><br />Chicago-based Boeing and European rival Airbus have been hit hard as carriers and cargo operators grapple with the global recession and credit crisis. <br /><br />Meanwhile, Boeing’s defence unit is struggling with sweeping cuts announced by the US Department of Defence in the Pentagon’s 2010 budget.<br /><br />In June, Boeing said it would postpone the first test flight of its 787 Dreamliner, citing a structural problem. <br /><br />The aircraft, already two years behind its original schedule, was set to fly in the second quarter of 2009.<br /><br />“We all wish it didn’t happen. We all wish that we didn’t sound so confident at such an early stage. Other than that, the development of this plane is on track. We’re feeling good about it, as subsequent testing has borne out,” said chief executive Jim McNerney.