The Federal Aviation Administration announced, Friday, that it would conduct an examination on The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA)'s most advanced 787 Dreamliner aircraft after a spate of incidents. The Dreamliner , which came into service in November 2011, has been criticized for a number of technical and electrical problems. The FAA said federal authorities will review 787's manufacturing, assembly and design.
The Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, FAA administrator, Michael Huerta, and the chief of Boeing's commercial airplane division will hold a news conference in Washington on Friday to provide further details. Recently, the battery pack of a parked Japan Airlines Dreamliner at Logan International Airport in Boston caught fire. In another incident, Japan Airlines had to cancel a flight from the same Logan International Airport due to fuel leakage in a 787. A few days ago, All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. (TYO:9202) said it had to cancel a 787 flight from Yamaguchi to Tokyo, after the computers detected a problem with the plane's brakes.
The National Transportation Safety Board is already investigating into the parked plane whose battery caught fire in Boston. The officials observed severe fire damage on the battery, which is used to power the auxiliary power unit when the aircraft is grounded.
So far, Boeing has sold 46 Dreamliners and have pending orders for 800 more. The company plans to produce 5,000 Dreamliner planes in the next 20 years. Though many airlines are confused whether to keep or cancel their orders for the plane, Qatar Airways immediately downplayed the safety concerns, saying that such technical problems occur with any new aircraft. The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) is not concerned; it is planning to double its Dreamliner production to 10 planes per month.
The plane is expected to play a vital role in The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA)'s future success. Dreamliner extensively uses the lightweight carbon composite materials, instead of aluminium to improve its fuel efficiency. It also relies heavily on electrical systems rather than mechanical ones.
The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) shares were down 2 percent to $75.60 in early trading.