Maybe, but this can only be part of the problem.
It is certainly true that introducing any new aircraft into the fleet of an airline is complex. When it is a brand new aircraft type on top of that, the complexity is multiplied. A wise airline will always take a measured approach rather than diving right in.
In the case of NH
, they were both deeply involved with the 787 engineering effort with a large engineering staff in Everett for years while the 787 was being developed. Still, they each took a month after first 787 delivery before beginning revenue flights with their 787s. AI
have far less experience with the 787 and less understanding of the airplane, but have pushed the 787 into revenue service much faster. UA
have the same amount of experience with the 787 as AI
, but have taken a more conservative approach to placing the aircraft into service.
Airline - Time from delivery to first revenue flight
.. 41 Days
.. 35 Days
.. 31 Days
.. 30 Days
.. 30 Days
... 13 Days
.. 1 Day
As a point of comparison, Malaysia took their first A380 in on May 27, 2012 and did not put it into revenue service until July 1 - 5 weeks later - for an airplane type which had its EIS 5 years ago.
When we flew ZA001 to WAW
after the Paris Airshow in 2011, I was struck with just how small an operator LO
is. I don't say this in a disparaging way toward LO
, because I KNOW they are a quality operator. However, they do not have the same engineering and technical resources at their disposal as NH
. With the same level of experience as UA
, and fewer resources, LO
has chosen to push the airplane into service faster. In a relative sense, they are pushing the 787 harder than UA
. This may be a part of the reason for their difficulty.
On the other hand, some of the issues LO
is rumored to have faced (defective landing gear component, door seal leakage, etc) would be workmanship and quality problems, and no amount of knowledge about the airplane or prep in advance of placing it into service would help mitigate these types of problems. If true, these issues can't point back to LO
, even if there were a few rough landings.
Edit: Clarified last statement.
[Edited 2012-12-22 11:57:53]