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Originally published February 5, 2009 at 12:00 AM | Page modified February 5, 2009 at 12:20 PM

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Boeing 787 loses another 16 orders

A Dubai-based leasing company established to operate a fleet of 21 Boeing 787 Dreamliners has canceled 16 of the orders.

By Seattle Times business staff

A Dubai-based leasing company established to operate a fleet of 21 Boeing 787 Dreamliners has canceled 16 of the orders.

The buyer, called LCAL, confirmed the move in a statement on its web site.

"Whilst the economic down turn has been unhelpful there are other factors affecting LCAL's business model, including the postponement of the originally-anticipated revenue streams from the projected operating lease activities. As a result LCAL's shareholders are rethinking their investment strategy and there are now plans to redirect capital into different sectors," the statement said.

The cancellation, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, brings the number of dropped Dreamliner orders this year to 31, according to the Boeing web site. A Russian airline, S7, canceled 15 Dreamliner orders in late January.

LCAL also said it "continues to believe in the performance of the Boeing 787 and work with Boeing towards the delivery of the remaining aircraft."

But Issaquah-based aerospace analyst Scott Hamilton, publisher of the Leeham News web site, wrote Thursday that "we've confirmed the other five LCAL will be eventually be canceled," once arrangements are worked out with the intended users, Royal Jordanian and Royal Brunei airlines.

"This sounds like a bit of realism from LCAL," Doug McVitie, managing director of Dinan, France-based consulting firm Arran Aerospace, told Bloomberg. "They may be worried about being able to place all those aircraft and, given the delays to the program, they may want to stand back and wait and see."

Separately Thursday, Boeing reported sharply lower commercial aircraft orders for January as air travel declines amid the global economic slowdown, although deliveries rose slightly compared with the same month last year.

Boeing received orders for just 18 passenger jets last month, a 72 percent drop from orders for 65 planes booked in January 2008, according to figures posted on Boeing's Web site.

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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