Boeing to resume 787 Dreamliner deliveries
Boeing Co. received preliminary US regulatory clearance to restart deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner aircraft, paving the way for the end of a drought that drained cash and dented the planemaker’s reputation for quality.
The Federal Aviation Administration approved Boeing’s plans to inspect and repair tiny manufacturing flaws in the Dreamliner’s carbon-composite frame. The jet manufacturer had largely halted deliveries since late 2020 as its engineers found improperly filled gaps in about 20 locations.
The FAA agreement is a milestone for the company, but it won’t immediately resume sales. Boeing must still make required fixes and get FAA inspectors to approve each aircraft, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information hasn’t been publicly announced. While the timing of delivery resumptions remains unclear, the company is aiming to begin in the week of August 8.
A total of 120 of the jets, which retail for as much as USD 338 million, had been constructed but were parked and waiting for the FAA’s approval to resume sales to customers such as American Airlines Group Inc., according to Boeing.
“We will continue to work transparently with the FAA and our customers towards resuming 787 deliveries.”Boeing said in an e-mailed statement.
The chief problem for the 787 had been how the plane’s carbon-fibre fuselage sections were joined, which didn’t meet Boeing’s design specifications but wasn’t deemed to be a safety hazard.
The locations where parts of the plane are joined must meet precise standards down to a small fraction of an inch. There are questions about the inspection process used to check that work.
The company said it has been working with the FAA on the problem and identified a way to fix the 787s that haven’t yet been delivered to customers. Boeing said 787 planes already in service do not need to be grounded.
The FAA agreed, saying it is aware of a manufacturing quality issue, and it “poses no immediate threat to flight safety.”
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