NEW YORK May 9 Boeing Co said on
Thursday it has succeeded in getting its factories to churn out
787 Dreamliners at a faster pace this week, a change that came
sooner than expected and positions the plane maker to possibly
deliver more of the high-tech jet than forecast.
Deliveries of the high-tech jet have not yet resumed since
they were suspended in January after two batteries overheated,
Boeing said. However, its forecast of delivering more than 60
Dreamliners by year-end has not changed.
Analysts said that by reaching the new rate of seven
Dreamliners a month in May, rather than mid-year, Boeing could
easily exceed that target.
"I think you could see a very strong fourth quarter," said
Ken Herbert, an analyst at Imperial Capital in San Francisco.
He reckoned that by taking seven jets a month as the average
for the year, Boeing could build 84 Dreamliners this year. But
not all of the jets produced in 2013 will be delivered, since
each plane requires time for test flights.
Boeing said the first plane at the new rate rolled out of
the factory on Monday night, up from five a month previously.
Boeing is working to speed up the assembly line to produce
10 Dreamliners a month by year-end, spokesman Scott Lefeber
said. Boeing typically does not announce precise dates for
"We are on plan with our production rate increases," Lefeber
Boeing is doing construction on the main production line in
Everett, Washington, and has a "surge" line at that factory for
additional production. Lefeber said. The second assembly line
for the 787 is in North Charleston, South Carolina.
Boeing delivered just one Dreamliner this year before
deliveries halted on January 16, when regulators grounded the
worldwide fleet of 50 planes following two separate incidents in
which lithium-ion batteries overheated on the planes.
Regulators last month approved a redesigned battery system
that adds more protection against fire. Boeing is retrofitting
the existing jets, and airlines are putting them back into
(Reporting by Alwyn Scott; Editing by Richard Chang)