I was talking to Yoshimi Ogura from ANA - All Nippon Airways, last night at the APRO (Airline Public Relations Organisation) event.
We were discussing the Boeing 737 Dreamliner, for which ANA is the launch customer.
As you probably know the Dreamliner has had a less than perfect development with endless delays. Since 2007 the delivery date (originally scheduled for May 2008) has been postponed at least 8 times, the latest delay being announced this January. ANA hope, finally, to take delivery, fingers crossed, before the end of the year, but none of the aviation journos I know are placing bets.
I was asking Yoshimi about the 'difficult to quantify' effect all these delays must have had on the airline, with people, training, equipment, resources, jobs... all being put on hold, then starting up again, then being put on hold.
She said something rather interesting. She said: Yes, it has been a strain for everyone but recently it's taken on an added significance.
Now, they just can't wait to start flying the first Dreamliner because "after all the bad things that have happened recently (earthquake & tsunami) we really, really want to have something good to talk about!"