Shares of The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) dropped -0.78% on Tuesday as the aircraft manufacturer revealed a new production flaw in its 787 Dreamliner, leading to a slowdown in deliveries. The issue revolves around a fitting for the aircraft’s horizontal stabilizer, produced in Salt Lake City, Utah. While this flaw does not compromise flight safety, Boeing must inspect and fix all 90 Dreamliners in its inventory before they can be delivered. Each aircraft is estimated to take two weeks to repair.
Boeing acknowledged that the improper sizing of shimming material, used to fill gaps between aircraft surfaces, led to the flaw. Consequently, the company halted deliveries of 787s suspected to have the issue. It remains uncertain how far back the flaw extends or if currently operating Dreamliners will require fixes.
Boeing has promptly notified the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and its customers about the situation, pledging to keep them informed of progress. Despite the setback, the company remains optimistic about meeting its delivery targets, aiming to supply 70-80 Dreamliners by year-end.
This latest development compounds Boeing’s challenges as it deals with a bracket installation issue on its 737 aircraft, which disrupted deliveries earlier this year. Although not a safety concern, the misaligned brackets connecting the vertical tail to the fuselage required significant rework. In addition, recent supplier problems have plagued Boeing’s Dreamliner production.
In February, the FAA temporarily halted 787 deliveries due to a data analysis error associated with the forward pressure bulkhead. However, after addressing the concerns, the FAA allowed Boeing to resume deliveries in March.
Boeing’s struggle to overcome these obstacles comes at a time when the company had just increased 787 productions from three to four aircraft per month. The aviation industry will closely monitor Boeing’s efforts to rectify these issues and resume normal operations.