Boeing Co said on Sunday its 787 Dreamliner would be ready for its first flight later in the second quarter, reaffirming a recently announced target for the new airplane.

Boeing, which is already two years behind schedule for the new 787 Dreamliner, said it was continuing to analyze data from recent tests on the plane but that initial results were positive. It said fuel testing begins in the next few days for the plane, for which it has 886 orders from 57 customers.

We are making great progress, and moving ever-closer to first flight, Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 Dreamliner program said in a statement.

If the rest of Boeing's tests go according to plan, the company is expected to start delivering planes to airlines in the first quarter of 2010.

The revolutionary, carbon composite aircraft -- assembled near Seattle from parts made around the world -- was supposed to fly in the summer of 2007, but has been pushed back four times by production snafus and delayed by a two-month mechanics' strike.

(Reporting by Sinead Carew in New York and Bill Rigby in

Seattle; Editing by Richard Chang)