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Boeing to reduce 787 production after identifying new jet issue

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New deliveries of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner remain halted while the company addresses production problems./AFP
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Jul 14, 2021 - 09:46 AM

NEW YORK — Boeing will temporarily reduce production of the 787 Dreamliner plane after identifying a new issue with the jet during inspections, the company announced Tuesday.

Boeing is “reprioritizing production resources for a few weeks” after it “identified additional rework that will be required on undelivered 787s,” the company said, without providing further details.

The aviation giant has been working with regulators at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on a system of 787 inspections after earlier production problems on the plane.

The FAA described the problem as a “manufacturing quality issue near the nose on certain 787 Dreamliners in the company’s inventory of undelivered airplanes,” an agency spokeswoman said.

“Although the issue poses no immediate threat to flight safety, Boeing has committed to fix these airplanes before resuming deliveries. Based on data, the FAA will determine whether similar modifications should be made on 787s already in commercial service.”

The latest 787 problem adds to the headwinds facing Boeing even as the travel industry begins to rebound from a deep downturn caused by Covid-19, and commercial airlines announce significant new plane orders.

A Boeing spokesman said new 787 deliveries remain halted as the company negotiates with the FAA on an inspection protocol for the jet’s fuselages.

The announcement means Boeing’s 787 output “will temporarily be lower than five per-month and will gradually return to that rate,” the company said. “Boeing now expects to deliver fewer than half of the 787s currently in inventory this year.”

Boeing has previously said it has about 100 787 planes in inventory.

The disclosure about came as Boeing reported 79 second-quarter commercial plane deliveries, up from 70 in the year-ago period.

The figures include a big jump in 737 MAX deliveries after the FAA cleared the jet to resume service in November 2020 following a 20-month grounding due to two deadly crashes.

Boeing’s shares fell 1.9 percent in pre-market trading to $233.85.

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