Boeing delays 787 deliveries after uncovering another defect in long-range aircraft

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Boeing Co. will delay deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner after uncovering a defective part in recent days, a setback as the plane-maker works to meet soaring demand for its long-range aircraft.

The flaw may affect about 90 already-built Dreamliners that haven’t yet been delivered, Boeing said, as well as a handful of planes on its final assembly line in North Charleston, South Carolina. Each aircraft will be inspected for improperly sized shims within the horizontal stabilizer, a tiny wing attached to a jet’s tail.

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The issue rattled investors who’ve endured a series of production mishaps at the US plane-maker. Boeing had to shut down Dreamliner shipments for the better part of two years, and it’s still working through a supplier defect affecting hundreds of its 737 Max jets. Just last week, Chief Executive Officer Dave Calhoun said that, with suppliers, the bumps in the road “are getting lower, smaller.

Boeing’s shares erased gains after the disclosure, ending Tuesday down 0.7 percent in New York.

“We’re not out of the woods on suppliers yet, said George Ferguson, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence, in an interview.

He expects Boeing and rival Airbus SE to continue to face parts shortages and quality lapses at least through the end of 2024, noting that aerospace suppliers have been particularly hard hit by a shortage of skilled labor and supply snags from the pandemic.

The new 787 inspections and repairs will also likely slow Boeing’s effort to clear the undelivered airplanes from its inventory, Ferguson said. And the delivery delays may exacerbate a shortage of new aircraft during the busy summer travel season as airlines work to keep up with a post-pandemic jump in air travel.

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