New Boeing 737 MAX Supplier Shortage Delays Plane Delivery

FILE PHOTO-A Boeing 737 MAX-10 performs a flying display at the 54th International Paris Airshow on June 20, 2023 at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo Get license rights

Aug 23 (Reuters) – Boeing ( BA.N ) recently identified a new 737 MAX quality problem involving supplier Spirit Aerosystems ( SPR.N ) that resulted in improper holes in the rear pressure bulkhead, the planemaker said on Wednesday.

Boeing said the company is evaluating whether the shortfall could delay deliveries and miss its annual delivery target of at least 400 737s this year.

Boeing shares fell 2.7% and Spirit shares fell 6.1% in after-hours trading.

The new supply-chain snag follows Boeing’s disclosure in April of a problem with improperly installed mounting brackets on the rear of the Spirit’s vertical tail, the latest issue to hold back deliveries of the money-making MAX.

Boeing confirmed that the latest MAX 8 delivery to Malaysia Airlines, which had scheduled an upcoming event on August 28, will be delayed.

Spirit said that because it uses multiple suppliers for the back pressure bulkhead, not all 737 fuselages are affected by the new “long” hole problem.

“Based on what we know now, we believe there will not be a material impact on our delivery range for the year related to this issue,” Spirit said.

So far, Boeing believes only a portion of its best-selling MAX 8 model is affected by the defect, but the company is evaluating whether the older model 737 next-generation jets are also affected.

It’s unclear how many jets need to be repaired, and Boeing said how long it will take to complete the rework depends on the condition of the aircraft.

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“We continue to deliver unaffected 737s,” Boeing said, adding that the problem was discovered “recently” but did not provide further clarification.

Spirit said it has implemented changes to its manufacturing processes to fix the problem.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it was aware of the problem and said it did not affect the safety of the aircraft.

Trade publication The Air Current first reported that Spirit was taking over the post-pressure bulkhead works.

Report by Valerie Incinna; Editing by Chris Rees and Muralikumar Anantharaman

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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