SEATTLE — Boeing took a big step forward Wednesday as 120 of the new 787 Dreamliner aircraft are now up for delivery.
Monday federal regulators said they were satisfied with the production of the 787 Dreamliner Passenger Jet and could resume deliveries. That’s after almost two years of being parked due to various production issues.
Boeing has maintained that "none of these issues is an immediate safety or flight concern for the in-service fleet."
Production of the 787 was complicated by several issues including gaps between panels of the carbon-composite skin and use of unapproved titanium parts from a supplier in Italy.
According to Leeham Company Aviation Industry Expert Scott Hamilton, production was halted, “to eliminate that paper-thin gap that was the cause of suspension of deliveries and to fix some other issues that they discovered upon inspection of airplanes," he said.
Many of the reworks were completed in Everett.
“Boeing lucked out because this happened during the pandemic and the airlines weren’t really interested in getting those airplanes," said Hamilton.
In a statement Boeing says they have resumed deliveries, "following our thorough engineering analysis, verification and rework activities to ensure all airplanes conform to Boeing’s exacting specifications and regulatory requirements."
American Airlines posted on social media that this first delivery is one of nine they expect to get this year. The FAA said they would inspect all the planes before they are delivered.
Boeing won't deliver all 120 airplanes this year. It will likely take the company into 2024 to go through their current inventory, Hamilton said.
Hamilton says airplane makers get a majority of their payment upon delivery, but that doesn’t mean Boeing will get a huge paycheck all at once since the deliveries will take place through 2024.
“The cash flow is going to be coming in, but it won’t be in one big balloon payment," Hamilton said.
Since entering production in 2011, the 787 Dreamliners have flown more than 1,900 routes. They’re often used for longer flights.