Analysis of 787 final assembly trends at Boeing's Everett plant seems to point to an improvement in the amount of traveled work that is reaching Everett. Looking at the movements of recently completed 787s at Everett, I've noticed that, with the exceptions of 787s for Etihad and American Airlines, Boeing hasn't been sending rolled out 787s to the Everett Modification Center to finish assembly tasks that were delayed due to traveled work.
The last current production 787 that visited the EMC was ZA199 (LN 271, JA840J) for Japan Airlines which was there until early February. Since then there have been 6 787s that have been rolled out to the 40-51 ramp but none have made the trip to the EMC though some have spent some time on the ramp outside the 40-51 building to finish minor assembly activities. Currently, the only 787s that are at the EMC are 3 early build aircraft, the 3 787-9 flight test aircraft and one 787-8 for American Airlines.
With regards to American Airlines and Etihad, it seems that for the aircraft for those two carriers will continue to go to the EMC because of delays in delivering the premium seats from Zodiac until the production issues are smoothed out. This is pretty good news for the 787 in terms of the production costs which Boeing has been wrestling with since the start of production. It does not mean the end of traveled work as Boeing expects that to continue. Many aircraft programs have some amount of traveled work but the 787 issues have been very painful, very public and very plentiful. They will continue to have some amount of traveled work but it will eventually get to a point where the work can be completed in final assembly as opposed to being rolled out to the 40-51 ramp to be finished.
As always, I'll keep track of this trend but continued reduction of traveled work to a point where the airplanes no longer have to go to the EMC is very good news to the program.