WICHITA, KANSAS- A new quality problem related to the Boeing 737 MAX involving its supplier Spirit AeroSystems has come to light. The problem concerns incorrectly drilled holes on the aft pressure bulkhead, as disclosed by the aircraft manufacturer on Wednesday.
As a result of this defect, Boeing has been compelled to postpone deliveries in the near term. The company is also assessing the potential impact this issue might have on achieving its annual target of delivering a minimum of 400 737s for the year.
In the aftermath of this news, Boeing’s shares saw a decline of 2.7%, while Spirit’s shares experienced a drop of 6.1% in after-hours trading.
Boeing 737 MAX Problem Continues
A fresh complication in the supply chain has arisen, becoming the latest hurdle in the delivery process of the revenue-generating MAX series, following Boeing’s revelation in April about improper bracket installation by Spirit that linked the aft fuselage to the vertical tail.
Boeing has confirmed that this recent issue will result in the postponement of the initial MAX 8 delivery to Malaysia Airlines (MH), which had originally been scheduled for August 28.
Spirit AeroSystems clarified that not all 737 fuselages will be affected by the new issue of “elongated” holes in the aft pressure bulkhead, as they source this component from multiple suppliers. They have expressed their belief that the issue will not significantly affect their delivery projections for the year.
At this point, Boeing’s assessment indicates that the defect primarily affects a portion of the popular MAX 8 model. However, the company is in the process of evaluating whether this issue also impacts the older 737 Next Generation aircraft.
The extent of the impact on the number of aircraft requiring rectification remains uncertain, and the time needed for rework will vary depending on the individual condition of each aircraft, Boeing stated.
FAA is Aware of this Issue
“We are currently proceeding with deliveries of unaffected 737s,” stated Boeing, without offering additional details about when the issue was precisely identified.
Spirit AeroSystems mentioned that they have already made adjustments to their manufacturing procedures to rectify this concern.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has acknowledged the matter, affirming that it does not compromise the safety of flight operations.
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