US clears first Boeing 787 Dreamliner delivery in 21 – sources

The Boeing logo is displayed on a screen, at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 7, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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WASHINGTON, Aug 8 (Reuters) – The U.S. government on Monday approved the first Boeing (TO FORBID) 787 Dreamliner for delivery since 2021, paving the way for American Airlines to take possession, people briefed on the matter told Reuters.

American airlines (AAL.O) said it expects to receive its first Boeing 787 delivery of the year as early as Wednesday and the aircraft will enter revenue service in the coming weeks. The aircraft is its first 787 delivery since April 2021.

Earlier on Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it expected Boeing to resume deliveries of its 787 in the coming days after the manufacturer carried out the necessary inspection and modernization changes to meet certification standards.

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Boeing halted deliveries in May 2021 after the FAA raised concerns about its proposed inspection method. In September 2020, the FAA said it was investigating manufacturing defects in some 787 airliners.

American Airlines said on an earnings call in July that it expects to receive nine 787s this year, including two in early August. It has 42 on order, not including the aircraft it expects to receive this week.

Boeing said it continues “to work transparently with the FAA and our customers to resume 787 deliveries.”

Last month, the FAA approved Boeing’s plan for specific inspections to verify that the plane meets requirements and that all upgrades have been completed.

Boeing has about 120 787s awaiting delivery. The FAA said it “will inspect each aircraft before a certificate of airworthiness is issued and cleared for delivery.” Typically, the FAA delegates aircraft ticketing authority to the manufacturer, but in some cases, such as the 737 MAX, it has retained responsibility for approving each new aircraft.

Following two fatal 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019, the FAA pledged to take a closer look at Boeing and delegate less responsibility to Boeing for aircraft certification.

On Thursday, Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen met with FAA safety inspectors in South Carolina as the agency considered whether to allow Boeing to resume 787 deliveries.

Before Boeing suspended production, the FAA had previously issued two airworthiness directives to address production issues for planes in service. He identified a new problem in July 2021.

The aircraft manufacturer resumed deliveries in March 2021 after a five-month hiatus before stopping them again. The FAA said earlier that it wants Boeing to ensure it “has a robust plan for the recovery it needs to perform on a large volume of new 787s in storage” and that “delivery processes of Boeing are stable”.

In January, Boeing disclosed a $3.5 billion charge due to 787 delivery delays and customer concessions, as well as another billion dollars in abnormal production costs resulting from production defects and related repairs and inspections.

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Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Mark Porter, Cynthia Osterman and David Gregorio

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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