The Boeing 737 MAX is once again hit by fresh supplier issues, leading to delivery delays, followed by Indian Carriers such as Air India (AI) and Akasa Air (QP).
Both airlines have placed mega orders for 737 MAX. The youngest and greenest Akasa Air has placed the order for 72 Boeing 737 MAX, of which 19 have been delivered. Furthermore, in its historic 470 aircraft deal, Air India has ordered 190 737 MAX, which will include 737-8s and 737-10s Models.
Boeing 737 MAX Issues will affect Air India and Akasa Air
According to a report by CNBC-TV18 on April 24, Boeing, one of the largest commercial aircraft manufacturers, has discovered manufacturing issues with the 737 Max planes, which are extensively used in Indian airspace.
As a result, Air India and Akasa Air’s fleet expansion plans include a significant order from Boeing. Are expected to be impacted, as per sources cited by CNBC TV-18.
Air India announced a provisional deal to acquire 220 aircraft from Boeing and 250 aircraft from Airbus in February. Further, the order will be funded through various means, including internal cash flow, shareholder equity and sale-and-leaseback of aircraft.
The CEO, Campbell Wilson, had mentioned that this was a significant order that would help transform the airline’s fleet and expand its network and capacity over the years.
Due to manufacturing issues, Boeing stated that near-term deliveries of 737 MAX would be lower. However, they are in touch with customers regarding their delivery schedules.
Boeing provided further details on the issue, stating that a supplier had utilized non-conforming fittings in the Aft Fuselage Section, which was detected in the aircraft.
What’s the issue?
The issue pertains to the incorrect attachment of two fittings that connect the aft fuselage to the vertical tail. Spirit made it before the fuselage was sent to Boeing.
Some aircraft versions, such as the MAX 9, used fittings from different suppliers and were correctly installed. Furthermore, the FAA has approved Boeing’s assessment that there is no immediate safety concern.
Boeing was informed of the issue by Spirit. Subsequently, the company is still determining the number of aircraft that may be affected.
Boeing has not commented whether the recent supplier issue will impede its plans to increase 737 productions this year as the company seeks to deliver at least 400 MAXs in 2023.
The Planemaker reported deliveries of 111 MAXs in the first quarter. Further, it hoped to raise monthly MAX production rates from 31 to 38 by June. Boeing stated that it had alerted the FAA about the issue. Moreover, it conducts inspections to replace the non-conforming fittings where required.
The company expressed regret over the issue’s impact on affected customers. Boeing is in communication with them regarding their delivery schedule.
Since two fatal plane crashes in 2018 and 2019, the FAA has closely monitored Boeing aircraft. Likewise, FAA continues to inspect each 737 MAX and 787 Dreamliner before issuing an airworthiness certificate for delivery.
Normally, aeroplane ticketing authority is delegated to the manufacturer by the FAA.
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