Boeing must constantly deliver its best-selling 787 Dreamliner Jet
Boeing can deliver its 787 Dreamliner plane again after suspending deliveries for the third time in three years. Taylor Rains/Insider The Federal Aviation Administration has given Boeing the green light to resume deliveries of its Dreamliner jets. Deliveries were halted for the third time in three years in January due to an “analysis error”. Travel analyst Henry Harteveldt said recent 787 delivery delays could cause airlines to consider a competing plane.
On March 10, the Federal Aviation Administration gave Boeing the green light to resume deliveries of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which was halted for the third time in three years on January 26.
The delivery break of several weeks was due to a “parsing error by [a] supplier” linked to a fuselage component, Reuters reported, but Boeing said the issue did not pose a safety threat.
It’s not the first time Boeing has had to halt 787 deliveries. Production flaws began in 2019 when company engineers identified very fine gaps in the plane’s fuselage, forcing the grounding of eight Dreamliners.
The issue escalated into an FAA investigation that led to a temporary pause in deliveries in October 2020. It wasn’t until late March 2021 that deliveries resumed, and Boeing sent a total of 14 in May 2021.
But, other production issues and new concerns about how the plane was inspected forced the FAA to halt deliveries again — a pause that spanned 15 months through August 2022. A total of 120 aircraft with a collective value of $25 billion could not be delivered, according to Wall. Street newspaper.
Harteveldt told Insider the inconsistency raises concerns about Boeing’s ability to deliver the planes on time – and could cause airlines to consider a competing aircraft instead, such as the Airbus A350.
“When a delay is short, airlines learn to deal with that,” he said. “But, when the delay stretches over several months, airlines are affected as they build their schedules and business plans around expected aircraft deliveries.”
American Airlines, in particular, announced on Friday that it had to cut its upcoming Philadelphia-Madrid route due to the lack of needed 787s, the Wall Street Journal reported. The airline was forced to cut some international flights for the same reason last year.
Despite the latest pause, Boeing said it “does not anticipate any change in our production and delivery outlook for the year.”
Dreamliner orders are piling up
In the past four months alone, the aircraft manufacturer has received around 200 orders for Dreamliner aircraft, including 100 from United Airlines, 20 from Air India and 78 from two Saudi carriers under a deal worth $37 billion.
Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun told Reuters in mid-March that demand for the 787 was the “biggest I’ve ever seen,” with the company telling Insider it plans to deliver 70 to 80. Dreamliners in 2023.
Henry Harteveldt, travel analyst and president of the Atmosphere Research Group, told Insider that the Boeing 787 is favored because of its fuel efficiency, versatility and passenger comfort.
“The 787 is literally available in three sizes: small, medium and large, and is capable of performing even ultra-long-haul flights,” he said.
With the order book filling up, Boeing plans to increase production to 10 jets per month by 2026 while simultaneously managing potential supply chain issues. The production rate is currently less than a third of that.
Boeing told Insider that it “will continue to produce at a slow rate as we return to five per month.”
Harteveldt said Boeing needed enough factory space, employees and supplies to significantly increase production, but outside factors could hamper production.
“In the case of the 787, you have components from many countries around the world,” he told Insider. “So it’s not just Boeing doing the work, but also dozens, if not hundreds, of contractors and subcontractors who are involved.”
Richard Aboulafia, chief executive of aviation consulting firm AeroDynamic Advisory, told Insider that the FAA’s tough response to Dreamliner issues dates back to the 737 MAX tragedies of 2018 and 2019, which killed 346 people and led to the crash. world plane grounding.
Historically, the FAA has allowed Boeing to self-certify its own aircraft under agency oversight, including the faulty system that caused the two MAX crashes. The FAA has since taken on the responsibility of determining whether a new individual MAX or Dreamliner jet is airworthy.
“The FAA has come under intense scrutiny, not only in the United States but also from international regulators,” Aboulafia said. “Reciprocity was hanging by a thread, so the agency felt the need to step back and apply more control.”
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