By Ezra Gollan
American Receives New 787 After Boeing Resumes Deliveries
Dallas-based carrier American Airlines announced on Tuesday that it had finally begun to receive Boeing 787s roughly 14 months after the FAA had suspended Boeing’s Charleston, South Carolina plant from delivering the type. The FAA had put a halt to Boeing’s 787 operations following alarming information on the manufacturer’s inspection processes in Charleston.
The hiatus meant more bad news for Boeing, who had said early this year that the halt in production would cost them $5.5 billion. The delivery today not only signaled that help was on the way to airlines relying on 787s for capacity but also Boeing’s revenues for the rest of this year. The manufacturer had made the 787 its economical, top-of-the-line widebody offering over the past decade with nearly 1,500 of the type on order across three variants.
Stan Deal, Boeing’s CEO of Commercial Airplanes said in a note to employees that, “every action and decision influences our customers’ trust in Boeing — we build trust one airplane at a time, we’ll continue to take the time needed to ensure each one meets our highest quality standards.”
As much as airlines need increased capacity and just want the planes they ordered, Boeing needs the revenue and chance to rebuild its reputation. Boeing has had its fair share of crises the past few years with the 737 MAX tragedies tarnishing the company’s reputation and leaving its future very much unknown.
Airlines only brought the 737 MAX back into service in early 2021 and passenger trust is something that Boeing will have to earn back and it will take a long time. It’s one thing for a corporation to damage its image with low-quality products that don’t stand up well, it’s another to knowingly build aircraft that have issues and then watch as hundreds die because of carelessness.
Boeing knows that the first step to getting customers and airlines to want to buy and fly on their planes is by being able to deliver them in the first place. The 787s still presents a fantastic option for carriers offering great fuel efficiency, range and comfort. Their size means they can be operated on long-haul flights between major and secondary markets which adds great flexibility for airlines.
Resumption of 787’s deliveries could also help to alleviate a lot of the issues related to capacity in the aviation industry right now. Not having one of the most important aircraft on the market in a standstill when it comes to deliveries has hurt numerous airlines. With almost 500 units still sitting on order books, most being the mid sized -9 variant while and longer -10, the return of the 787 is one that many airlines have been waiting for.