Boeing CEO: 787 problem won't slow production

  • Monday, February 20, 2012

The CEO of Boeing said the latest problem with its new 787 will not slow production.

Boeing is fixing a problem with the way the skin on the 787 is attached to the tail section. Some spacers, called shims, were installed improperly. Boeing has said there's no immediate safety issue. It is still inspecting 787s to see how many will need to be fixed.

The 787 first entered service last year, and Boeing is speeding up production at the two plants where the planes are assembled, in Everett, Wash., and North Charleston, S.C.

Chairman and CEO Jim McNerney said Boeing is still on track to build 3.5 planes per month by the middle of this year and 10 per month by late next year.

The first delivery from North Charleston is expected by the middle of this year, which would be on schedule, he said at an analyst conference in New York.

McNerney said the tail problem has a standard repair procedure. Boeing is already making other fixes and modifications to dozens of 787s built in Everett. At least half of those planes will be fixed by the end of this year, he said.

Boeing has said all 787s will be inspected to see if they have the shimming problem.

Five of the planes have been delivered so far, all of them to Japan's All Nippon Airways Co. ANA spokesman Nao Gunji said it has not scheduled inspections for its five planes yet.

Boeing is also speeding up construction of its 737s, 777s, and its revamped 747. Those moves are also on pace with Boeing projections, McNerney said.

Shares of Chicago-based Boeing Co. rose 70 cents to close at $75.46.

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