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Boeing reveals new problem with 787 Dreamliner

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Boeing (BA) Tuesday revealed a new issue with the 787 Dreamliner widebody jet, which has been struggling since August. The company said some of the aircraft’s fuselages were not assembled to meet specific standards and there were questions about the verification process to ensure they meet standards.

The locations where the parts of the aircraft are joined must meet precise standards down to a small fraction of an inch. There are questions about the inspection process used to verify this work.

The company said it has worked with the FAA on the issue and identified a way to fix the 787s that have yet to be delivered to customers. Boeing said 787 planes already in service did not need to be immobilized.

The FAA agreed, saying it was aware of a build quality issue and that it “poses no immediate threat to flight safety.”

“Based on the data, the FAA will determine if similar modifications need to be made to the 787s already in commercial service,” the FAA said in a statement.

Boeing will repair undelivered planes and inspect them prior to delivery. The company said the process would take a few weeks.

“We will continue to take the time necessary to ensure that Boeing aircraft are of the highest quality before delivery,” the company said in a statement.

The company has around 100 undelivered Dreamliners. In April, he said he planned to deliver the majority of those planes in 2021. However, Boeing said on Tuesday it would not meet that target due to the 787’s problems.

The company temporarily halted deliveries of the 787 last August and recommended that a handful be temporarily grounded for inspections. These planes have since been returned to service. Boeing also resumed aircraft deliveries in March.

Solid orders and deliveries

The news eclipsed very strong orders and shipments over the past month.

The struggling aircraft maker said on Tuesday that June was its best month for new orders since 2018, thanks to an order for 200 737 Max jets placed by United Airlines during the month. And it reported the best month for deliveries since March 2019, when a fatal 737 Max crash resulted in that aircraft being grounded for 20 months and deliveries halted.

Boeing said it delivered 45 jets last month. This is important for the finances of the company, as it makes most of the money from the sale of an aircraft at the time of delivery. It delivered 33 737 Max jets, 2 military versions of the 737 and 10 widebody jets. But only one was a 787, for Turkish Airlines. Most of the other widebody jets were either cargo planes or military jets, an indication of the weakness of the widebody market.

United’s large order for the 737 Max was an important vote of confidence for the plane and the expected pick-up in air travel demand. But those orders were the only orders for passenger planes Boeing recorded in June. The other 19 planes ordered were freighters purchased by FedEx (FDX).

Ongoing issues

But the delayed deliveries and slower-than-expected production of the 787 announced on Tuesday will come at a cost to the company, which has recorded nearly $ 20 billion in baseline operating losses over the past eight quarters.

Boeing should finally declare a profit in the second quarter which has just ended. While it may yet return to profitability, Tuesday’s news makes it clear that the quality issues that have plagued it since the 737 Max came to a standstill continue. Actions of Boeing (BA) fell 2% in pre-market news trading.
Boeing's latest challenge: China
The Dreamliner is a leading aircraft in the wide-body segment of the aircraft market, in which Boeing dominates its rival Airbus. (EADSF) Made of a composite material that weighs less than aluminum, the jet is extremely fuel efficient. While it was briefly grounded in 2013 following a few fires in its lithium battery, the aircraft has recently experienced known issues.

The aircraft is mainly used on longer international routes which have been severely curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Airlines and Boeing executives have said international air travel is expected to be the last part of the airline industry to make a full recovery.

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