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Qantas 787s to arrive on time after Boeing ban lifted

written by Jake Nelson | March 13, 2023

Qantas looks set to receive its three new 787s on time in June after the FAA cleared Boeing to resume deliveries of the widebody jet.

The organisation said that Boeing had sufficiently addressed concerns around a data analysis error relating to the aircraft’s forward pressure bulkhead, which had halted Dreamliner deliveries on 23 February.

“The FAA may resume issuing airworthiness certificates next week,” the regulator said in a new statement on Friday.

The new aircraft are already two years late and could be crucial to Qantas both launching new international routes or adding capacity to existing services.


The national carrier is currently in talks with Air France to develop a direct route from Perth to France, as well as several other additional European locations.

The 787’s forward pressure bulkhead – manufactured by Spirit Aerosystems – has been a thorn in Boeing’s side for several years, with deliveries previously halted in May 2021 after gaps were discovered around the structure, which is situated in the nose of the fuselage and serves as a barrier for the pressurised inner cabin.

The February delay came just six months after Boeing agreed to replace the bulkhead and was cleared to restart deliveries last August, with the planemaker saying the documentation error was unrelated to the previous hiccup.

“We have completed the necessary analysis that confirms the airplane continues to meet all relevant requirements and does not require production or fleet action,” Boeing said.

“The FAA will determine when 787 ticketing and deliveries resume, and we are working with our customers on delivery timing.”

Australian Aviation revealed in February how Boeing reassured Qantas the aircraft would arrive on time – despite the FAA being effectively in control of its ban on delivering aircraft.

The problems with the widebody 787 come after the narrowbody 737 MAX was grounded for more than 18 months following two fatal crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia that killed 346 people.

The US Department of Justice subsequently fined Boeing US$2.5 billion for deceiving FAA safety officials who initially cleared it to fly.

In a scathing statement, a series of senior figures accused Boeing of “fraudulent and deceptive conduct”, “concealing material information”, and “engaging in an effort to cover up their deception”.

Boeing chief executive David Calhoun said then the huge penalty “appropriately acknowledges how we fell short of our values and expectations”.

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Comment (1)

  • Means don’t need to government intervention!

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