Boeing On Track To Produce 10 787s Monthly By End Of Year

By Guy Norris
Source: Aviation Daily
May 10, 2013
Credit: John Croft

Boeing says production of the 787 remains on track to achieve a rate of 10 per month by year-end, having reached seven a month in early May with the roll-out of the 114th aircraft.

The company, which decided not to interrupt production during the battery crisis which has grounded the 787 for most of this year, is building the aircraft on two lines at Everett, Wash, and the dedicated 787 production site at North Charleston, S.C. The bulk of 787s are rolling off the original final assembly line at Building 40-26 in Everett, while the balance is split between North Charleston and the temporary surge line in Building 40-24.

This area, formerly used for 767 production, also will house assembly of the first 787-9, starting early next month.

Boeing reaches the production milestone as 787 operators continue to schedule a return to service for aircraft that have been grounded since mid-January, following battery failures on aircraft operated by All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines. United Airlines expects to start flying its Boeing 787s again on May 20 on the Houston George Bush Intercontinental-Chicago O’Hare International route. International flights will begin on June 20 with a flight from Denver International Airport to Tokyo Narita International Airport.

ANA will resume services with its 17-strong 787 fleet from June 1, following the successful completion of test flights and safety checks of the modified battery system. The airline says the 787 also will be introduced on additional international routes later this summer including Tokyo Narita to Beijing Capital International Airport, and from Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Haneda Airport to Taipei Taoyuan International Airport. The increase will bring the number of overseas destinations served by ANA’s 787s to five. The aircraft will be introduced on flights between Haneda and Akita Airport on June 1, and flights between Haneda and Toyama Airport on June 15. ANA adds that due to summertime demand, it also will operate additional 787 flights from July, principally on Okinawa routes.

JAL, which has seven 787s, also is expected to resume flights on June 1, while Ethiopian Airlines became the first carrier to operate the widebody on a commercial service since the grounding when it flew the aircraft between Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya on April 27. Polish flag carrier LOT is scheduled to return its aircraft to service on June 5, with a flight from Warsaw Chopin Airport to Chicago O’Hare, while Qatar Airways resumed 787 services with a flight from Doha International Airport to Dubai International Airport on May 2.