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Updated February 5th, 2024 at 08:27 IST

Boeing faces new delay in 737 MAX deliveries due to quality issue

The issue was discovered by Boeing's supplier, Spirit AeroSystems, which found two mis-drilled holes on certain fuselages.

Business Desk
 Boeing 737 Max
Boeing 737 Max | Image:X
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Boeing faces new delay: Boeing Co announced on Sunday that it would need to address a quality issue on approximately 50 undelivered 737 MAX aeroplanes, potentially causing delays in some near-term deliveries. 

The issue was discovered by Boeing's supplier, Spirit AeroSystems, which found two mis-drilled holes on certain fuselages.

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Responding to a query from Reuters, Boeing confirmed the findings, stating that a spacing problem had been identified in holes drilled on a window frame of some jets. 

Boeing assured that safety was not compromised, and existing 737s could continue flying without issue.

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Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Stan Deal expressed gratitude to an employee at Spirit who flagged the mis-drilled holes to management. He said that while the issue did not pose an immediate safety risk, rework would be necessary for about 50 undelivered aeroplanes.

Spirit AeroSystems spokesperson Joe Buccino mentioned that the issue was identified as part of their quality management program, and they were in close communication with Boeing to address it.

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Boeing plans to allocate several "factory days" at the Renton 737 plant near Seattle to rectify the mis-aligned holes and complete other pending work. This action is part of Boeing's effort to enhance its operations following recent quality control concerns.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) did not provide immediate comment on the matter.

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The discovery of the quality defect comes amid ongoing scrutiny of Boeing's operations and the 737 MAX aircraft. The FAA has ordered Boeing to limit 737 production while addressing quality issues, impacting the planned increase in production rates.

The quality issue involves potential misalignment of two holes on a window frame assembly supplied by Spirit. So far, the defect has been found in 22 fuselages out of 47 inspected, with further checks underway.

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Boeing has urged suppliers to intensify checks to ensure quality requirements are met. 

However, Boeing and Spirit have yet to agree on the extent of rework needed for the mis-drilled holes.

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Spirit AeroSystems is set to release its earnings on Tuesday, February 6. Boeing 737s are assembled in Renton, with fuselages supplied by Spirit in Wichita, Kansas.

(With Reuters Inputs)

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Published February 5th, 2024 at 08:27 IST

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