NEW YORK: Boeing has suspended deliveries of the 787 Dreamliner again following new issues with a fuselage component, US aviation regulators said on Thursday (Feb 23).
The latest pause is a disappointment for the aerospace giant after it resumed deliveries of the jet in August following a halt of more than a year.
Boeing is “conducting additional analysis on a fuselage component”, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement.
“Deliveries will not resume until the FAA is satisfied that the issue has been addressed. The FAA is working with Boeing to determine any actions that might be required for recently delivered airplanes,” the statement added.
Boeing said it “discovered an analysis error” by its supplier related to the 787 forward pressure bulkhead during a review, adding that the pause comes as the company completes the required analysis and documentation.
“There is no immediate safety of flight concern for the in-service fleet,” the Boeing spokesperson said, noting that production continues. Boeing does not expect a shift to its production and delivery outlook for the year.
The 787’s travails date to late summer 2020, when the company uncovered manufacturing flaws with some jets and subsequently identified additional issues, including with the horizontal stabilizer.
The difficulties curtailed deliveries between November 2020 and March 2021. Boeing suspended deliveries later in spring 2021 after more problems surfaced.
But the company ramped deliveries back to 22 in the fourth quarter last year. While that was a decisive improvement, it marked a much lower level than its peak-pandemic cadence.
Boeing’s difficulties with the 787 have come as the company tried to reset its relationship with the FAA following the 737 MAX calamities.
But the latest problem threatens to crimp an aviation industry recovery as more airlines seek new jets to meet pent-up demand for flying.
Air India unveiled a record series of orders earlier this month from Airbus and Boeing, including for 20 Dreamliner planes, with options for 20 more.
Shares of Boeing slumped 3.1% to US$201.75 in after-hours trading. – AFP