Boeing is poised to resume delivering its 787 Dreamliners this week, ending a five-month halt while the planemaker’s mechanics searched for tiny structural flaws in the carbon-fiber aircraft, said people familiar with the matter.
The initial delivery is expected as soon as Friday, with Boeing likely to hand over two or three of the wide-body jets this month, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the matter is confidential, Bloomberg reported.
The renewed jetliner shipments will ease the uncertainty that had been building around Boeing’s most advanced aircraft. The delivery drought added to Boeing’s cash pressures, with more than 80 undelivered Dreamliners.
“We continue to expect to resume delivering 787s by the end of March,” Boeing said in an emailed statement, without providing specific timing. “However, we will continue to take the time necessary and will adjust any delivery plans as needed. We remain in constant and transparent communication with our customers and regulators.”
Air Lease Corp. expects to take delivery of a Dreamliner the week of March 29, Steven Udvar-Hazy, the leasing company’s founder and chairman, said Thursday.
United Airlines Holdings also is at the front of the line and could receive one or more 787-9 models as soon as Friday once U.S. regulators approve repairs made by Boeing’s mechanics and engineers, two of the people said. The Chicago-based airline needs the new long-range 787s to help with the loss of its older Boeing 777-200 fleet, which has been sidelined for engine inspections after a turbofan blew apart last month during a departure from Denver.
Boeing executives had pledged to restart deliveries this quarter as the company recovers from one of the toughest years in its century-long history. After burning through $20 billion last year, the planemaker’s path to generating cash over the next two years depends on its ability to unwind more than 500 jets — mainly Dreamliners and the 737 Max — that have stacked up.
By Julie Johnsson, Siddharth Philip and Justin Bachman