Wednesday, April 10, 2013

787 customers eyeing return to service; Qatar expecting to resume flying by end of April

Qatar Airways' chief, Akbar Al Baker, is not one to shy away from the media or make over exaggerated announcements but at the inauguration of Qatar's service between Doha and Chicago, he stated that Qatar fleet of 787s will be back in service well before May 31st which is when United plans to resume 787 operations.  Jon Ostrower of the Wall Street Journal tweeted that Qatar is planning to have the 4 of 5 787s returned to service by the end of April.  Whether this is realistic or not is another question.  Jon later tweeted Boeing is responding to the FAA request for additional information though it is unknown what they had requested.  It has been widely anticipated that the FAA would have additional questions.  Given that the month of April is 1/3 over it does seem far fetched that the FAA will issue their decision so that Qatar would have 4 787s ready by the end of the month.  I don't see the FAA decision coming down before April 15th at the earliest. However It is entirely possible for Qatar to have their 787s back in the air by mid May.  Again this is all dependent on when the FAA will issue their decision. It should be noted that several 787 operators are planning to resume operations within the next month and a half including ANA.

On the production front Boeing is still producing airplanes at about 5 per month though in the next month and a half the Charleston line will be increasing their rate to 2/month.  I believe that the Everett line will increase to 5/month during this same period. Boeing's guidance was an increase in rate from 5 to 7 around mid 2013.  This would mean the rate break would occur around early June. The rate increase makes it more imperative that Boeing gets the FAA approval for he battery fix.  As of today there are 31 787s (25 in Everett and 6 in Charleston) that ready for pre-flight or to continue the post production tests that had started prior to the grounding.  If the rate break is to occur in early June, Boeing will have to resume deliveries around the same time and deliver at a rate of 2 to 2.5 airplanes per week in order to clear the inventory of production aircraft sitting at both facilities over the 30 weeks starting in early June.  This is an attainable delivery rate if Boeing can resume production ground and flight tests by the first week of May.



HK Expat said...

Hi Uresh - there seems to already be a pick up in pace @ both Everett and Charleston assembly lines in anticipation of reaching 7/month by mid-year.

@ Everett (assembly time):
LN108 - 41 days
LN107 - 41 days
LN106 - 45 days
LN105 - 47 days
LN103 - 50 days

@ Charleston (assembly time)
LN95 - 109 days
LN91 - 122 days
LN85 - 129 days
LN81 - 149 days

LN 100 @ Charleston could potentially be under 100 days if timetable sticks.


Dave C said...

An update for you i have been researching the Hainan 787 and i think the aircraft will be type 84P

Dave C said...

The FAA have approved the fixes presented by boeing

Uresh said...

Thanks Dave, do you have a source?

Dave C said...

There you go pal

Uresh said...

This is the FAA approving Boeing's plan to re-certify the batteries, they haven't certified Boeing's fix yet.

Dave C said...

oh sorry Uresh! I think i got over excited! my apologies to you and everyone else

neil123456 said...

Hi Uresh

Do you know delivery dates for individual airlines at all? For example, would you know if TUI are likely to get their planes before July 2013?

Many thanks

Uresh said...

Obviously delivery dates are not going to be set until the FAA decision comes down.