Boeing Signals Optimism on Resolving Dreamliner, Max Issues
(Bloomberg) -- Boeing Co. is on the verge of surmounting issues that have held back deliveries of its two most important aircraft, the 787 and the 737 Max, an executive said.
The planemaker is “getting close” to restarting deliveries of the 787, Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing, said in Dubai ahead of an air show that starts in the city on Sunday. The 787, known as the Dreamliner, is Boeing’s most advanced wide-body built with composite materials.
Restarting Dreamliner deliveries, which have been halted for most of this year, is key to a financial turnaround at Boeing. But the planemaker must first address quality defects and win approval from regulators.
“We continue doing meticulous work every step of the way,” Mounir said. “This is a case of Boeing being tough on Boeing. This is a case of us looking at every single aspect of the design and manufacture of the airplane making sure we’re complying.”
Boeing is also in discussions with Chinese regulators on re-certifying the single-aisle 737 Max workhorse, Mounir said. Following a successful test flight in August, Boeing expects to restart Max handovers during the first quarter, Chief Executive Officer Dave Calhoun said last month.
China’s Civil Aviation Administration has informed airlines it is satisfied design changes suggested by Boeing could address safety issues, Reuters reported on Sunday, citing a notice from the regulator. Airlines have been invited to give feedback on a proposed airworthiness directive by Nov. 26, the news agency reported.
China is the biggest country that is still grounding Boeing’s cash cow, about a year after U.S. regulators approved flight-computer fixes following two fatal crashes. The narrow-body plane, a critical U.S. export, is also caught in a greater tug-of-war over trade between Beijing and Washington.
Boeing is in advanced discussions on building an air-freight version of its 777X jetliner with a number of customers, Mounir said, but it’s not yet ready to announce the launch of the freighter.
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