787 reliability needs to improve, Boeing exec concedes

OSLO — The Boeing Co. needs to improve the reliability of the 787 Dreamliner to satisfy customers such as Norwegian Air Shuttle after a series of malfunctions with the new aircraft, an executive for the manufacturer said.

The composite-material aircraft’s dependability now is about 98 percent, which is short of Boeing’s best-selling wide-body model, the 777, said Mike Fleming, vice president of 787 Services and Support, at a press conference.

“We’re not satisfied with where the airplane is today, flying at a fleet average of 98 percent,” Fleming said. “It’s going to take us time, just as it did on the 777.”

The Dreamliner experienced a series of malfunctions after its introduction in 2011, including a three-month grounding of the global fleet last year after batteries on some planes caught fire. Norwegian Air, which built long-range ambitions around the Dreamliner, has been hit by the snags because it doesn’t have a big-enough fleet to absorb outages.

Boeing encountered the greatest challenges with the earlier planes when they first went into service, and the aircraft has improved, Fleming said.

The 777 has 99.3 percent dispatch reliability, the highest among all twin-aisle airplanes in service today, according to the Boeing website.

“We introduced the 777 in 1995 and it was in about the 1999 time-frame that we saw sustained performance over 99 percent in that fleet,” Fleming said.

More in Herald Business Journal

Tesla rolls out the design for its 500-mile electric big rig

The truck will have an Autopilot system, which can maintain a set speed and slow down in traffic.

How Airbus’s A380 deal with Emirates evaporated in Dubai

It came down to concern by Emirates that Airbus might shut down the jumbo program.

Equipment rental and sales business H&E opens Mukilteo shop

Company hopes to capitalize on construction occuring in northwest Washington.

New Chick-fil-A draws dozens of campers in Bothell

A second restaurant of the popular chain is opening on Thursday.

Tulalip Resort Casino to feature locally grown hazelnuts

The resort wanted to put a focus on meals created with the nut.

Alderwood Water general manager named president of state association

Alderwood Water & Wastewater District General Manager Jeff Clarke has been installed… Continue reading

Boeing earns top marks for LGBTQ workplace policies

Boeing was one of 609 businesses nationwide to earn a 100-point score… Continue reading

Derided by critics, trickle-down economics gets another try

The concept — also known as supply-side economics — has frequently drawn ridicule.

Richard Branson’s 747 to launch satellites for the Pentagon

Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rocket would be “air launched” from a 747-400 it calls “Cosmic Girl.”

Most Read