Dreamliner Could Face Extended Grounding
Poland’s national airline will not fly its Boeing 787 Dreamliners until October, citing “uncertainty” over the next generation airplane’s immediate future. That’s obviously a much longer window than analysts were anticipating.
“We want to carry our passangers in a forseeable and safe way,” a spokesman for the airline told the Associated Press.
The Dreamliner has been grounded since January 16 as a result of numerous problems – most notably an issue with its lithium ion batteries.
Japan Airways – one of the carriers which has had problems with the planes – has said it will not fly them again until at least March. Meanwhile last week Boeing informed customers to expect additional delays in the delivery of new planes.
“We have informed our customers expecting 787 deliveries in the near term that those aircraft either have been or are at risk of being delayed,” the company announced last Friday.
Boeing has delivered just 50 of the 800 Dreamliner orders it has received and is under tremendous pressure to turn a profit on the plane.
Originally scheduled for delivery in May of 2008, numerous design, supply and delivery problems pushed Dreamliner’s deadline back more than three years – causing numerous cancellations.
Why do we follow Boeing so closely? Well, South Carolina taxpayers shelled out hundreds of millions of dollars to lure a Dreamliner manufacturing facility to North Charleston, S.C. three years ago. The Palmetto State later lost out on its bid to build Boeing 737 Max planes – part of a deal the company cut with its labor union.
South Carolina politicians – led by Gov. Nikki Haley – have fawned over Boeing. In fact Haley repeatedly references Boeing in her speeches, referring to the Dreamliners produced in the Palmetto State as “Mack Daddy Planes.”
In addition to its massive state incentives package, Boeing also receives subsidies from the federal government via the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which gives foreign airlines a taxpayer-funded competitive advantage over U.S. carriers. The company also makes billions of dollars a year on defense contracts.