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Could the Dreamliner Be Flying by 2009?
A tentative deal has been made between Boeing and its machinists union, which could end the nearly two-month-long strike that's halted production at its Everett, Washington factory. It's likely that the union will vote to approve the deal, which promises a 15 percent raise over four years and protects union jobs.
Once a deal is done, workers can get back to rolling out airplanes, in particular the 777, which new airline V Australia is anxiously awaiting after pushing back its launch date because of the strike. Meanwhile, ANA, the launch customer for the much-anticipated 787, was planning for deliveries this winter, but after countless delays already, that seems about as likely as Ted Stevens turning down a Bridge to Nowhere.
Boeing currently says the fuel efficient Dreamliner will debut by the end of 2009, but at least one supplier says 2010 is more likely. And that's just the first plane: More than 900 have been ordered, and the company will only be able to make a few 787s a month until at least 2012.