First SC-built Boeing 787 Dreamliner to be delivered to Air India

First SC-built Boeing 787 Dreamliner to be delivered to Air India
Source: Gene Edwards
Source: Gene Edwards

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The first Boeing 787 Dreamliner built in North Charleston is set to be delivered to Air India Friday morning.

A Boeing spokesperson told Anchor Debi Chard about the planned delivery Thursday. The event will be marked with an official signing ceremony inside the plant's delivery center, followed by a ribbon cutting.

Keys to the new plane will then be handed over. The Dreamliner was originally scheduled to depart for India on Saturday, but that has been pushed back to Monday.

The plane was rolled out during a huge ceremony last April, and originally scheduled for delivery by July, but that had to be postponed. Boeing followers had a long wait to see delivery of South Carolina's  first 787.

But when you look at what one customer means to Boeing down the road, you can see why experts say patience is a virtue.

"These are long lasting relationships," said Dinesh Keskar, head of Boeing India."We have to be there when they are in need and they are helping us when we need help from them so that is the mutual respect we work under."

Delays have come on both sides. Air India signed the deal in 2005 and expecting planes in 2008. Keskar says Air India was forced to retire airplanes and had no Dreamliner to replace them.

Air India has already taken off with two Everett-built 787s. Boeing hopes many more of its planes will follow in the next twenty years. Boeing officials predict that India will take about 1,450 airplanes worth about 175 billion.

Air India has ordered a total of 27 Dreamliners. Boeing's $750 million aircraft assembly plant opened last year, the largest single industrial investment in South Carolina history.

By 2013, Boeing expects to assemble 10 of the 787 jetliners per month, with about 3 of those coming from North Charleston.

Copyright 2012 WCSC. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this story.