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Guests exit a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft at the Farnborough Airshow in Hampshire, U.K. -- July 18, 2010. - 


STEVE CHIOTAKIS: The boss of Qatar Airways says Boeing has "clearly failed" -- those are his words -- in its delivery of a new 787 Dreamliner.

Now Boeing had hoped to begin delivering the plane at the start of next year. The aircraft had been delayed yet again after a fire on a test flight earlier this month.

The BBC's Rebecca Singer has more.

REBECCA SINGER: Hundreds of new 787 Dreamliners have been ordered. But the program is running almost three years late. And Boeing's customers are starting to get impatient.

The chief executive of Qatar Airways says he hadn't expected such delays from a company with a reputation like Boeing's. And he's been taken aback by the number of problems that have held up delivery of the new aircraft.

Sophie Segal is editor of Air Finance Journal, and says the comments will be a heavy blow for Boeing.

SOPHIE SEGAL: Qatar is a big airline from a very wealthy country. Any airline criticizing a manufacturer's program is a big deal. From the airline's perspective, however, they want the aircraft. They're frustrated because it's arriving late and that might have impacts on their fleet planning, for instance.

SINGER: Segal says the damage to Boeing's credibility is temporary. And all will be forgotten once the aircraft is delivered. So far more than 800 Dreamliners have been ordered by airlines around the world.

In London, I'm the BBC's Rebecca Singer, for Marketplace.