Despite Boeing’s Constant Efforts, 787 Dreamliner Issues Persist


Boeing (NYSE:BA) has been working around the clock to iron out wrinkles from its troubled 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which has suffered everything from production holdups, multiyear delays, battery fires, circuitry issues, and even sales difficulties for a few select models. Try as Boeing might, it seems that for every crease ironed smooth, two new ones sprout up in its place.

On Friday, Boeing announced that forty-three of its Dreamliners will be inspected for possible hairline fractures in the wings, the fallout of a manufacturing defect by Boeing’s wing manufacturer, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, in Japan. Fortunately, none of the forty-three planes have yet been delivered to clients, at least making the job for Chicago-based Boeing a bit easier in that regard.

Also to Boeing’s good fortunes, the discovery was made ahead of Boeing’s plan to ramp up its production of the 787 to an output of ten aircraft per month. The problem will add further delays for customers regardless, and “will burden Boeing with more costly rework,” the Seattle Times reports.

“While there may be some delays to deliveries, we are confident that we are doing what must be done,” Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel said to the publication. “We understand the issue, what must be done to correct it, and are completing inspections of potentially affected airplanes.”

Boeing 787

Perhaps as icing on the cake, Norwegian Air will have to be patient for its order of 787s, as it is one of the clients expecting the planes experiencing the possible cracked wings. Norwegian Air is Europe’s third-largest budget airline by passenger numbers, and it says that it’s confident Boeing will honor its obligations. The delays are expected to be a few weeks; Norwegian has placed orders for fourteen planes, three of which are already in operation.

“When Boeing agrees deliveries with us, there is always room for delays. We expect these deliveries to happen within that time,” an airline spokeswoman told Reuters.

While Boeing is dealing with its wing cracks crisis, a 787 bound for San Francisco from Tokyo was forced to make an emergency landing in Hawaii after a possible issue arose regarding the plane’s hydraulic system. Japan’s NHK said the plane reported a loss of pressure for its lubricant oil in its right engine, but no fire or injuries were reported.

Japan Airlines, which operated the plane, published a brief but vague press release on its website, saying the plane touched down in Honolulu due to ”maintenance issues.” Japan Airlines couldn’t be reached for comments by the Guardian for the story, but it’s needless to say that Boeing will be following the proceedings closely.