The first shipment of Air Canada's Dreamliner Boeing 787 jets has been delayed again — this time by an average of five to seven months, the airline announced Tuesday.

According to the most recent delivery schedule, the first five deliveries of the new planes were to have taken place in the second half of 2013.

Boeing has now notified the airline that the delivery date has been pushed back to the last quarter of 2013 and the first half of 2014.

When Air Canada ordered 37 of the planes, the first deliveries were expected in 2010. Boeing said it will provide updated delivery dates for Air Canada's other 32 firm orders as soon as it can. 

Boeing has run into a series of technical, design and production problems with its 787 program. After seven delays, the plane's production is three years behind schedule.

The first plane was to have been handed over to the launch customer, All Nippon Airways, in May 2008. Now, that delivery is set for the third quarter of this year.

The Dreamliner is a mid-size, wide-body jet that will be more fuel efficient than similar-sized planes, in part because of its use of composite materials to cut down on weight.  

With files from The Canadian Press