Boeing says 787 Dreamliner inspections are slowing deliveries, adding to company's problems

Boeing says 787 Dreamliner inspections are slowing deliveries, adding to company's problems

September 8, 2020
  • Boeing has flagged improper spacing in some areas of the fuselage and horizontal stabilizer on certain 787 Dreamliners.
  • The issues add to Boeing's production problems as it tries to improve its safety culture.
  • Boeing logged more cancellations than sales in August for the seventh month in a row.

Boeing on Tuesday said inspections stemming from production problems of its 787 Dreamliners are slowing deliveries of the wide-body jets, adding to the company's woes.

The manufacturer said the issues it found on some of the planes relate to its fuselage, due to improper spacing, as well as on the horizontal stabilizer at the rear of the airplane. The Federal Aviation Administration said it is investigating the issues.

"The agency continues to engage with Boeing," the FAA said in a statement. "It is too early to speculate about the nature or extent of any proposed Airworthiness Directives that might arise from the agency's investigation."

Boeing shares were down more than 4% in late-morning trading.

As of the end of August, Boeing said it had 526 unfilled orders for its twin-aisle 787 Dreamliner.

"We are taking time to thoroughly inspect completed 787s to ensure that they are free of the issues and meet all engineering specifications prior to delivery," the company said in a statement. "We expect these inspections to affect the timing of 787 deliveries in the near-term."

The issues are the latest problems Boeing is grappling with on top of its still-grounded 737 Max aircraft following two fatal crashes and the coronavirus crisis, which has hurt demand for new planes and led to thousands of job cuts.

Boeing said Tuesday posted 20 debooked orders in August and eight new orders, the seventh month in a row that the Chicago-based company logged more cancellations than orders.

The Dreamliners, which are used often on international routes, are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic because the virus has devastated air travel abroad as countries restrict visitors and potential travelers stay home.

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