Boeing announced that a new manufacturing flaw has been found on its popular 737 Max aircraft, leading to delays in deliveries. The company identified improperly drilled fastener holes on the aft pressure bulkhead of some 737 planes. Spirit Aerosystems, the manufacturer of the fuselages, explained that only certain units were affected due to its use of multiple suppliers for the aft pressure bulkhead.
The discovery of this issue will impact the near-term deliveries of the 737 Max as inspections are conducted to determine the number of affected planes and complete the necessary rework. However, Boeing clarified that it will continue delivering planes that are not affected by this manufacturing flaw.
This defect adds to the series of manufacturing flaws that Boeing has recently disclosed, not only in the 737 Max but also in other programs. The company is striving to increase production to meet the high demand from airlines facing a shortage of planes during a surge in travel. In an effort to ramp up production, Boeing announced a transition to a production rate of 38 planes per month, up from 31.
Although Boeing did not mention whether this new issue would impact its forecast to deliver between 400 and 450 Max jets this year, Spirit Aerosystems assured that there would not be a material impact on their delivery range.
Boeing emphasized that this latest flaw is unrelated to flight safety and airlines can continue to fly the affected planes. The company has already notified the Federal Aviation Administration about the issue.
Following the announcement, Boeing shares experienced a 3% drop in after-hours trading.
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