An employee works on the tail of a Boeing Co. Dreamliner 787 plane on the production line at the company’s final assembly facility in North Charleston, South Carolina.
Travis Dove | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Boeing delivered its first 787 Dreamliner in more than a year on Wednesday, ending a pause on handovers of the jetliners that was sparked by a series of manufacturing flaws.
American Airlines took the first new delivery from Boeing’s 787 factory in South Carolina, the carrier’s CEO, Robert Isom, said in an Instagram post.
The delivery is a milestone for Boeing. The planes are a key source of cash for the manufacturer, and the bulk of an aircraft’s price is paid upon delivery — though the company has had to compensate customers for the delays.
Deliveries have been on hold for much of the past two years. Boeing said earlier this year that the production defects and a drop in output during the delivery hold will cost it $5.5 billion.
Dreamliner customers like American and United Airlines have had to go without their new planes, which are often used for long-haul international routes, during a resurgence in demand for such trips this year.
Among the issues discovered was tiny, incorrect spacing in some parts of the fuselage.
“Every action and decision influences our customers’ trust in Boeing — we build trust one airplane at a time,” Stan Deal, CEO of Boeing’s commercial airplanes unit, wrote in a note to staff Wednesday. “We’ll continue to take the time needed to ensure each one meets our highest quality standards.”
The Federal Aviation Administration earlier this week said it cleared Boeing to resume deliveries, which were set to begin this week.
The FAA’s acting administrator, Billy Nolen, visited the 787 factory last Thursday and met with FAA safety inspectors about steps to improve production quality, the agency said earlier this week.