With a huge backlog of Boeing 787 Dreamliner orders on the books, Boeing has finally begun to deal with delays, pushing the airliner into “full-speed production.”
According to the company, it has added a “surge line” to its already existing assembly plant in Everett, Washington. Boeing has also added an assembly line in South Carolina to help fulfill more than 800 outstanding orders. At this time, the company will move from an average of 3.5 airplanes per month to 10 per month by the end of 2013.
Boeing recently delivered a single 787 Dreamliner to Ethiopian Airlines, marking the third company to receive the luxury plane and the first to receive the plane outside of Japan. Next week, Boeing will deliver one of the airplanes to Air India. The aircraft being delivered to India Airlines will be the first from the company’s new South Carolina assembly plant.
Boeing soon plans to deliver several of the aircraft to United Airlines, the first US aircraft carrier to receive the luxury airliner. United Airlines is expected to commercially fly its first Dreamliner in October 2012.
Air India in the meantime is asking for a discount on the aircraft carrier, which is heavier than originally anticipated. The company claims the discount is necessary to offset fees for going over the country’s efficiency standards.
Part way through the production cycle, Boeing engineers chose to re-engineer the aircraft to produce the 20 percent efficiency gains they have already promised. Planes already in production such as that 787 Dreamliner going to India Air were not included with the new standards. According to The Economic Times, Air India will ask for $80,000 in annual compensation from Boeing. That annual reimbursement is on top of the compensation Air India will receive for waiting three years based Boeing’s promised delivery date to receive the new aircraft.
In the meantime, Australia’s No. 1 provider, Qantas, announced last week that it has canceled 35 Boeing 787 Dreamliner orders because of incredibly long delays. Qantas still has 50 787’s on order but lost $256 million in the last quarter.