Boeing has halted deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner, just two months after restarting them, as the company works to get regulatory approval for its plan to resolve previously disclosed quality issues.
The planemaker is providing the US Federal Aviation Administration with added analysis and documentation of proposed fixes for undelivered jets, according to a company statement Friday. The latest setback follows a five-month delivery hiatus that ended in March, caused by potential manufacturing flaws in the carbon-fiber shell of Boeing’s most advanced aircraft.
’'Boeing still needs to show that its proposed inspection method would meet FAA’s federal safety regulations,’' the regulator said in an email. Because the FAA hadn’t approved Boeing’s proposed system of compliance, the company chose to suspend shipments of the plane, the agency said.
The new interruption to a key source of cash deals Boeing yet another blow tied to manufacturing lapses in its marquee jets. Shortly after the company resumed Dreamliner shipments this year, it ordered 737 Max planes to stop flying because of a potential electrical fault. While Max deliveries began again this month, the glitch marred the model’s return from a 20-month worldwide grounding after two deadly crashes.
Regulators have sought more information on fixes Boeing has proposed for the potential Dreamliner faults, a person familiar with the matter said. The issues that led to the latest halt aren’t new and don’t affect flight safety, the person said.
Last year, Boeing discovered tiny dimples in the inner lining where the 787′s carbon-fiber fuselage barrels are fused to form the jet’s frame.
The Chicago-based company has struggled to get past a series of missteps that have led to heightened regulatory scrutiny. This week, Boeing agreed to pay at least $17 million to settle US enforcement cases about the installation of unapproved equipment on hundreds of single-aisle 737 jets.