Even when Boeing has its best month in years, it has problems.
Boeing (BA) on Tuesday disclosed a new issue with the 787 Dreamliner widebody jet, which has been dogged with problems since August. The company said some of the planes’ fuselage was not joined together to meet precise standards and there are questions about the verification process to make sure they meet the standards. 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.” “Based on data, the FAA will determine whether similar modifications should be made on 787s already in commercial service,” the FAA said in a statement.
Boeing will fix the undelivered planes and inspect them before delivery. The company said that process would take a few weeks. “We will continue to take the necessary time to ensure Boeing airplanes meet the highest quality prior to delivery,” the company said in a statement. The company has about 100 undelivered Dreamliners. In April it said it expected to deliver a majority of those jets during 2021. However, Boeing said Tuesday it won’t hit that target because of the 787’s problems. The company temporarily halted deliveries of the 787 last August and recommended a handful be temporarily grounded for inspections. Those planes have since been returned to service. Boeing also resumed deliveries of the planes in March.