Boeing has announced a new quality issue with its 737 MAX aircraft, specifically involving supplier Spirit AeroSystems. The problem relates to improperly drilled holes on the aft pressure bulkhead. This defect will result in delays in deliveries and may cause Boeing to miss its annual delivery target of at least 400 737s for this year. As a result, Boeing’s stock has dropped 2.7%, while Spirit’s shares have fallen 6.1% in afterhours trading.
This supply-chain problem is the latest setback for the MAX aircraft, following a previous issue in April where Spirit had improperly installed brackets. The first MAX 8 delivery to Malaysia Airlines, scheduled for August 28, will be delayed due to this latest problem. However, not all 737 fuselages are affected by the “elongated” hole issue, as Spirit uses multiple suppliers for the aft pressure bulkhead.
Spirit has stated that it does not expect a significant impact on its delivery range for the year due to this issue. Boeing believes that the defect is limited to the MAX 8 model, but it is also assessing whether older-model 737 Next Generation jets are affected. The number of aircraft that will require rework and the time it will take to complete will vary depending on the condition of each aircraft.
Boeing has assured that it is still delivering 737s that are not affected by this problem. Spirit has made changes to its manufacturing processes to address the issue. The Federal Aviation Administration is aware of the problem but has stated that it does not impact the safety of flight. Trade publication The Air Current initially reported that Spirit was responsible for the work on the aft pressure bulkhead.
In conclusion, Boeing has identified a new quality problem with its 737 MAX aircraft, specifically related to improperly drilled holes on the aft pressure bulkhead. This issue will cause delays in deliveries and may impact Boeing’s annual delivery target. However, the company believes that the impact will be limited and is working to address the problem. The Federal Aviation Administration has confirmed that the issue does not affect the safety of flight.
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