Boeing has opened a third assembly line for its 787 Dreamliner as it struggles to ramp up production of the badly delayed aircraft.
Boeing has described the new assembly line as a temporary measure as it seeks to increase 787 production from 3.5 aircraft per month to 10 per month by the end of next year.
The new line is located at Boeing’s facility in Everett, Washington, which is also home to the main 787 assembly line. Boeing’s massive new facility in North Charleston, South Carolina. rolled out its first 787 in April.
It is believed that the temporary assembly line will likely turn out the first of the larger 787-9 model, which is due to enter service with Air New Zealand in 2014. Qantas holds options on 50 787-9s after cancelling 35 firm orders for the aircraft this month.
With the 787 program more than three years behind schedule, Boeing has so far delivered just 14 aircraft out of a total order backlog of more than 800, and the planmaker’s bottom line has been hit by compensation payments to airlines.