Air Freight News

Boeing supplier sees 787 rate accelerating after output restarts

Boeing Co. will most likely lift build rates for its 787 widebody beyond the currently targeted five a month some time in the future, according to the UK company that makes air ducts and structural parts for the jet.

Senior Plc Chief Executive Officer David Squires said the higher pace of output for the Dreamliner seems probable once handovers restart following a near-freeze for more than 18 months tied to production issues with the model.

“Boeing have guided publicly about five a month. My expectation is that they’ll move to a higher rate in due course,” Squire said in an interview Monday. He declined to comment on the time frame for any further ramp up.

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said last week that the planemaker’s 787 team was in the final stages of preparing to restart deliveries, after which it plans to gradually increase output to five jets a month. Dreamliner handovers were largely halted in late 2020 as the US firm grappled with structural glitches.

Output of the 787 was already on its way down before the coronavirus crisis hit long-haul demand, with Boeing planning a cut from 14 to 10 a month. At the start of Covid lockdowns and prior to the production issues it had said the rate would drop to seven a month by 2022.

Senior said it’s ready to boost output for both Boeing and Airbus SE after putting in additional capacity prior to the pandemic.

Squires said the UK firm doesn’t need further manufacturing facilities to cope with Airbus’s plan to make 75 A320neo-series narrow-body jets a month by 2025, and could do so by adding more machines at existing locations. Airbus said Thursday it was retaining that target while slowing the immediate A320 ramp up and cutting its 2022 delivery goal amid strain on suppliers.

Senior posted first-half results that beat analyst estimates and reinstated dividend payments.

Bloomberg
Bloomberg

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© Bloomberg
The author’s opinion are not necessarily the opinions of the American Journal of Transportation (AJOT).

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