Time to rag on airlines again. However, just for a change, let’s rag on Wall Street as an airline surrogate.

Today, shares in Boeing took a big hit because they announced the delay, for the fifth time, of the unveiling of the Dreamliner, the new composite aircraft that Boeing is betting its future on.

Instead of asking how are the airlines, who can’t seem to figure out how to make a profit, are going to pay for those planes, Wall Street is worried that it is not on time.

BUSINESS-US-BOEING

A spokesman for Boeing said today, “Obviously, we are all anxious to see this airplane fly, but it’s important that it flies when it’s ready to fly and when we have high confidence in what we can accomplish with it in flight tests,” said Scott Carson, chief executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes on a conference call with analysts and reporters.

They needed to explain that to investors?

Personally, if I were Boeing, I would be in no hurry to get this plane off the ground because, once it’s ready, the airlines won’t be able to pay for it. Would you accept an IOU from any domestic US carrier? I would not trust them to pay for lunch let alone pay for an order. (That is, once the plane can actually fly.)