Federal regulators on Friday cleared the way for Boeing to resume deliveries of its 787 Dreamliners, which were paused more than a year ago due to quality concerns.
Boeing submitted a plan to the Federal Aviation Administration this spring to examine and fix these problems, which the agency approved Friday in a major milestone on the plane’s delivery route, according to a person familiar with the decision, and it was not. Authorized by the agency to share the news. The FAA will still inspect the planes before they are delivered to Boeing customers.
The Dreamliner is a twin-aisle aircraft commonly used for long international flights and is an important part of the Boeing fleet. It appeals to airlines in part because it is more fuel-efficient than older wide-body aircraft.
The delivery delays had a negative impact on Boeing and its customers. In January, Boeing estimated the cost of making repairs and compensating customers for delays at about $3.5 billion. Earlier this year, American Airlines said the delivery freeze forced it to cut several international routes it was planning to fly this summer.
Quality concerns included finding and filling thin gaps in the fuselage, replacing certain titanium parts with faulty materials and other repairs. Boeing said nothing has an immediate impact on the safety of the Dreamliners flying today.
Boeing has already begun inspecting and repairing its inventory of about 120 Dreamliners, but it was not immediately clear when the company would be able to start shipping the plane to customers again. An American executive said earlier this month that It is expected to start receiving Part of her Dreamliners arrangement in early August.
Boeing had already indicated last week that it was close to resuming deliveries. “We are fitting aircraft with our customers and have completed flight checks on initial aircraft,” Brian West, Boeing’s chief financial officer, said on a call with analysts and investor journalists.
A spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration declined to comment on the decision. In a short statement, Boeing said it would “continue to work transparently” with the agency and its customers in order to resume deliveries.
Boeing said last week that it aims to return to production of five Dreamliners per month, down from 14 in the month it was compiling before the pandemic.
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