Air NZ says Boeing 787 now delayed to 2013

WELLINGTON, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Air New Zealand AIR.NZ will have to wait another year to take delivery of its first Boeing BA.N 787 Dreamliner plane, and is still chasing compensation from the plane maker, it said on Wednesday.

Boeing announced on Dec. 11 a fourth delay to the delivery of the troubled aircraft because of a strike by machinists and problems with wrongly installed bolts on the first batch of planes. See [ID:n11385276]

“Boeing confirmed yesterday a further 12 month delay could be expected with the first 787-9 aircraft to be delivered to Air New Zealand in the first quarter of 2013,” the airline said in a statement on Wednesday.

Air NZ has eight of the planes on order, the first of which was originally due to be delivered around the end of 2010, and then delayed to early 2012.

The lightweight carbon-composite plane promises to cut fuel costs by 20 percent, but Boeing has found it harder than expected to put together the plane using its far-flung network of suppliers.

Air NZ said an order for four Boeing 777-300ER aircraft was still on track with delivery in 2010 and 2011.

Shares in Air New Zealand, 77 percent owned by the government, last traded up 1.2 percent at NZ$0.86. (Reporting by Gyles Beckford)