The seemingly benighted Boeing Dreamliner has been hit by a further setback, with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling American government subsidies for the project illegal.
Rival Airbus – which has been granted privileged access to the WTO report – goes as far as to argue Boeing “would not have been able to launch the 787 without illegal subsidies”.
Boeing has previously denied this assertion.
A total of $7 billion in government assistance believed to have been received by the manufacturer has been deemed illegal by the WTO.
The full report is expected in the coming weeks.
“From today, Boeing can no longer pretend it does not benefit from generous and illegal state subsidies,” said Airbus head of public affairs Rainer Ohler.
“It has been doing so from the start and it is time to stop the denial.”
However, the full report is also expected to find European Union subsidies to Airbus are also illegal.
In January Boeing was forced to delay the first Dreamliner deliveries for once again, pushing the due date back to the third quarter of 2011.
The decision follows a fire onboard a test aircraft late last year and pushes the project almost three years behind schedule.
“This revised timeline for first delivery accommodates the work we believe remains to be done to complete testing and certification of the 787,” Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program, explained at the time.