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Boeing unveils 787 jet, despite weather, strike

Dreamliner showcased at Paris Air Show

The new Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental jetliner landed at Le Bourget airport this week before the Paris Air Show. The elongated Intercontinental is the world’s longest passenger aircraft. The new Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental jetliner landed at Le Bourget airport this week before the Paris Air Show. The elongated Intercontinental is the world’s longest passenger aircraft. (Photos By Pascal Rossignol/Reuters)
By Greg Keller
Associated Press / June 23, 2011

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LE BOURGET, France — Horrendous weather and a public transport strike caused chaos at the Paris Air Show yesterday, delaying a raft of order announcements for Airbus and dampening the mood at Boeing’s unveiling of its new 787 jet.

Airbus had scheduled three order announcements before noon but pouring rain aggravated already overloaded highways, preventing at least one of the jet maker’s customers from making it to the air show on time.

Getting to Le Bourget Airport, only 9 miles from central Paris, should take just 25 minutes but access has taken up to two hours some mornings because of heavy traffic and a strike by train drivers.

With news conferences delayed, Airbus had to make due with just a written announcement for its first order of the day, a deal for six A350 long-range jets from Kuwaiti leasing company ALAFCO.

Boeing, meanwhile, showcased its 787 jet, dubbed the Dreamliner, for the first time despite the bad weather.

Japan’s All Nippon Airways announced yesterday it expects to receive the first of the much-delayed 787s in August or September, and have a total of 14 of the revolutionary composite jetliners by next March. The airline has 55 of the planes on order.

Developmental problems have delayed the twin-engine jet’s introduction into passenger service by more than three years.