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Tue, Aug 02, 2022

Boeing to Resume Dreamliner Deliveries

FAA Approves 787 Repair Procedures

Compelled by discoveries of manufacturing defects, Boeing has repeatedly halted deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner. Subject defects, first noted in the autumn of 2020, consist of flaws in the aircraft’s carbon-composite fuselage and its empennage. The nature and prevalence of the defects were sufficiently grave to merit delivery stoppages in October 2020, April 2021, and June 2021.

Boeing proposed a number of fixes to the 787’s maladies, none of which the FAA fancied. Ergo, the process of rectifying the Dreamliner’s woes has dragged on, inciting anger from buyers, a slide in the company's stock price, and demands by a Congressional subcommittee for a review of the FAA's oversight of the aircraft.  

On 29 July 2022, U.S. regulators granted Boeing clearance to recommence 787 deliveries, thereby marking the ostensible end of a regrettable epoch that has seen the storied airframer’s cash reserves dented and its reputation for quality sullied. 

Despite being a milestone for the Seattle aerospace titan, the FAA agreement—which includes approval of Boeing’s plans to repair the manufacturing defects with which the Dreamliner is afflicted—will not facilitate an immediate resumption of 787 deliveries. Boeing has yet to make the required fixes—the entirety of which the FAA will subsequently need inspect. When, exactly, the cycle of repairs and inspections is slated to get underway remains uncertain, though Boeing insider sources hint at the second week of August 2022. 

A fleet of 120 Dreamliners representing almost $41-billion in Boeing revenue has been languishing on airport aprons across Seattle and North Charleston, awaiting FAA approval to fly off to their respective purchasers. 

In an emailed statement, Boeing asserted: “We will continue to work transparently with the FAA and our customers towards resuming 787 deliveries.”

During an interview at 2022’s Farnborough International Airshow, Boeing CEO Stan Deal stated his company plans to gradually ramp-up Dreamliner production as it reduces its inventory of undelivered 787s. Mister Deal further stated that Boeing has been working with suppliers to step up hiring and make ready for a livelier manufacturing tempo.

FMI: www.boeing.com

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