Boeing CEO believes 787 production will get to pre-pandemic rates

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Boeing CEO said that the aircraft manufacturer expected the Boeing 787 Dreamliner production rates to reach pre-pandemic levels of 14 aircraft per month. 

Speaking at the Bernstein virtual conference on June 3, 2021, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun noted that the Boeing 787 Dreamliner production rates were expected to reach pre-COVID-19 levels. However, the timeline indicating when it might happen was not specified. 

“We will get back to the rates that we used to be at. We believe in that airplane,” Calhoun said while talking about the Boeing 787 Dreamliner production rates. 

Currently, Boeing produces on average five Boeing 787 Dreamliners per month. When asked about the future 787 production rates, the CEO of the American aircraft giant confirmed that the company was expecting to reach a 14-monthly rate despite the decision to end Dreamliner production at Everett and consolidate the aircraft production at its facility in North Charleston. 

“The answer to that is yes. You don’t go from five to that number overnight. You get there in increments. We have plenty of cycle time to stage those increments appropriately, reconfigure the flow of airplanes through the factories such that we can accommodate those rates,” Calhoun added. 

While talking about the biggest challenges with regards to Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Calhoun indicated delivery rates. “We will work our way and will get to a stable delivery rate, which right now is our biggest challenge.” 

In 2020, Boeing delivered a total of 53 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, while in 2021, the aircraft manufacturer handed over only 11 787s. The 787 Dreamliner deliveries slowed down due to the 787 manufacturing issues that led Boeing to ground the aircraft from October 2020 to March 2021. 

However, in May 2021, following the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) request for more data on Boeing’s proposed solution to address previously disclosed Boeing 787 Dreamliner manufacture issues, the Chicago-based aircraft giant halted deliveries of Boeing 787 Dreamliner once again.

“We are working with the FAA to alter some of our production control systems,” Calhoun explained. 

When asked to clarify whether Boeing would have capabilities to deliver 100 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in 2021, Calhoun said that “nothing has changed in respect to our determinations that were made with deliveries of the airplanes”.


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