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Boeing slumps on back of 787

BOEING posted a larger-than-expected quarterly loss on costs related to its long-delayed 787 Dreamliner, but the world&rsquo;s second-largest planemaker reaffirmed the commercial aircraft is on track to fly this year.<br /><br />Boeing said yesterday the aircraft would fly this year with first delivery set for the fourth quarter of 2010. <br /><br />&ldquo;The surprise was they reiterated the (787) schedule,&rdquo; said Alex Hamilton, senior managing director at Jesup &amp; Lamont.<br /><br />&ldquo;I always look at these as opportunities to kind of reset the bar,&rdquo; Hamilton said. &ldquo;I think there&rsquo;s a lot of growing scepticism about their delivery schedule.&rdquo;<br /><br />Chicago-based Boeing and European rival Airbus have been hit hard this year as carriers and cargo operators grapple with the global recession and credit crisis. Meanwhile, Boeing&rsquo;s defence unit is struggling with sweeping government budget cuts.<br /><br />Boeing said its revenue was $16.7bn (&pound;9.8bn), up nine per cent from the year-ago period, which was impacted by a labour strike, but still far short of $17.16bn that analysts had expected.<br /><br />Boeing has grappled this year with delays to the new Dreamliner. The aircraft features revolutionary composite materials and construction methods. <br /><br />The aeroplane is two years behind schedule, and some industry watchers say it could be delayed further. The firm has a record 840 firm orders for Dreamliners from 55 customers.<br />