Iraq’s national carrier was told during its negotiations with Boeing that a second delay in production of the new long-haul aircraft was likely. However, the airline chose to order 10 of the planes as part of a $5.5bn order with the US manufacturer, despite the likelihood of delivery stalling to 2016-17 from 2012-13 (MEED 11:4:08).

US officials in Baghdad advising on the order say that although the airline has made extravagant claims about re-launching a long-haul international network within months, the company is years away from having the infrastructure to support this. The delay to delivery of the Dreamliners can therefore be easily managed.

“Iraq does not have the civil aviation authority, the airport infrastructure or an airline built to support a large international operation,” says a US transport official in Baghdad. “We looked at the delay and decided it was still a good deal. Boeing wanted to price the aircraft competitively to get a foot in the door. The delay was not a factor in pricing.”