The company last month grounded eight 787s over production issues that prompted U.S. air safety regulators to review quality-control lapses potentially stretching back almost a decade, according to an internal government memo and people familiar with the matter.
The production issues have slowed 787 deliveries. Boeing delivered four in August as the monthly production rate of 10 continues to outpace hand-overs to customers. Boeing said Tuesday it expects the quality issues to affect deliveries “in the near term.”
Boeing said the latest issue involved how parts were clamped together during construction of the horizontal stabilizer—or rear wing. Boeing said the issues affect undelivered jets and were found “earlier this year.”
The company said it had informed the Federal Aviation Administration and determined it wasn’t an immediate safety-of-flight issue. “We are correcting the issue on airplanes that have not been delivered. Analysis is underway to determine if action is required on the in-service fleet,” Boeing said in a statement.
The production problems add to pandemic-related travel restrictions that have slowed deliveries by Boeing and Airbus SE this year, pressuring their finances as customers typically pay the bulk of an aircraft’s price on receipt of the plane.
Boeing had delivered 84 planes through the end of August. Aside from the 787s, deliveries all involved cargo jets or military planes. These included two KC-46A tankers, two P-8 surveillance planes, three 777 freighters and two 767 cargo jets.
New orders included two 737 MAX jets for Enter Air and three more for an unidentified customer. Taiwan’s Eva Air swapped three 777 freighters in place of three 787-10s.