WASHINGTON, Apr 27 – US aircraft giant Boeing said Tuesday it had started training pilots to fly the 787 Dreamliners promised to Japan\’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) in a long-delayed 55-plane agreement.
"Ten pilots from ANA began the training program with classroom instructions in Tokyo earlier this month," Boeing said in a statement.
"Training on simulation devices began April 23 at the Boeing Flight Services training campus in (the US city of) Seattle, Washington. First delivery of the 787 is scheduled for the third quarter of this year," it said.
The pilots should be ready to fly the new planes after up to 20 days of training, depending on their prior experience, with Boeing 777 pilots qualifying in as little as five days, the company said.
In January ANA, the inaugural customer for the troubled jetliner, said it would seek assurances from Boeing that it could meet the third-quarter delivery date after the US aviation giant delayed it again.
Boeing had originally promised to roll out the product in 2008, but a string of technical mishaps and delays have slowed the testing program for the jets, heralded as a new generation of highly fuel-efficient mid-sized aircraft.