Boeing further trims 787 output in pandemic, expects slower deliveries due to inspections

boeing further trims 787 output in pandemic expects slower deliveries due to inspections scaled

Workers assemble a Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner airplane at the Boeing Everett Factory in Everett, Washington.

Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Boeing has further trimmed its production target for 787 Dreamliner output to five a month in mid-2021 from six as international travel demand suffers in the coronavirus pandemic, CFO Greg Smith said Friday.

International passenger traffic is around 90% lower compared with last year, Smith said at a Credit Suisse investor conference, impacting the “overall near-term demand for the wide-body markets.”

Boeing shares were down more than 2% in afternoon trading while the S&P 500 was up 0.7%.

The planes are used on long-haul international routes, which analysts and industry members expect to be the last to recover because of the virus and a host of travel restrictions.

Deliveries of Dreamliners are also slower than expected because of inspections stemming from production issues, which Boeing disclosed in September.

“The additional time that we’re taking to inspect and ensure that each of our 787s are delivered to the highest quality standards has taken longer than we previously anticipated,” said Smith. The manufacturer didn’t deliver any 787s in November and the inspection “process will continue to slow deliveries in December.”

In October, Smith said on an earnings call that Boeing expects a “big fourth quarter on deliveries” of the 787.

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