FAA Allows Boeing To Resume 787 Dreamliner Deliveries

American Airlines is expected to accept delivery of its first Dreamliner since 2021 as soon as Wednesday.

Boeing reported it has accumulated an inventory of about 120 787 Dreamliners. [Courtesy: Boeing]

Boeing’s (NYSE: BA) first 787 Dreamliner delivery in more than a year, is expected as soon as Wednesday, following an FAA review of the widebody airliner’s inspection and manufacturing process. 

The new Dreamliner will be delivered to American Airlines (NASDAQ: AAL)—the carrier told FLYING—its first 787 delivery since April 2021. 

The deliveries were put on hold after the FAA raised concerns about the Dreamliner inspections and flaws, reportedly including incorrect spacing in the construction of some 787 fuselages. 

“Boeing has made the necessary changes to ensure that the 787 Dreamliner meets all certification standards,” an FAA spokesperson told FLYING in a statement. “The FAA will inspect each aircraft before an airworthiness certificate is issued and cleared for delivery.”

The resumed deliveries are a welcome financial development for Boeing, which acknowledged this year that reduced Dreamliner production and other issues have cost it more than $5 billion. The news pushed Boeing shares 0.5 percent higher on Monday. 

Outstanding Orders 

The 787-8 variant—tail number N880BJ—will be delivered to American Airlines from Boeing’s Dreamliner factory in North Charleston, South Carolina, the carrier told FLYING. It’s expected to enter commercial service in the coming weeks. 

The new airliner will raise the number of 787s in American’s fleet to 47 active aircraft, according to American. An additional 42 Dreamliners remain on order. Another major U.S. carrier, United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAL) still has outstanding orders for Boeing’s larger 787-10 variants. 

Dreamliner inventory had risen to 120 jets by the end of June, according to Boeing. 

FAA’s Nolen Visits Factory 

Last Thursday, acting FAA administrator Billy Nolen visited the South Carolina facility with FAA safety inspectors. Discussions included whether inspectors were satisfied with Boeing’s actions regarding the Dreamliner, the agency said. Specifically, they talked about recent steps aimed at improving manufacturing quality and the autonomy of workers tasked with ensuring regulatory compliance.

At Nolen's request, the FAA said Boeing officials provided updates on these programs, and on the performance of the company's safety management system to identify and mitigate risks throughout the manufacturing process.

Thom is a former senior editor for FLYING. Previously, his freelance reporting appeared in aviation industry magazines. Thom also spent three decades as a TV and digital journalist at CNN’s bureaus in Washington and Atlanta, eventually specializing in aviation. He has reported from air shows in Oshkosh, Farnborough and Paris. Follow Thom on Twitter @thompatterson.

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