A person with an umbrella walks by a Boeing 737 Max fuselage parked outside the company’s production facility in Renton, Washington, January 10, 2020.
Lindsey Wasson | Reuters
Boeing said a new manufacturing flaw on its best-selling 737 Max planes will delay deliveries of the best-selling aircraft.
The company said it found fastener holes on the aft pressure bulkhead on some 737 planes were improperly drilled. Spirit Aerosystems, which makes the fuselages, did not immediately comment.
“This issue will impact near-term 737 deliveries as we conduct inspections to determine the number of airplanes affected, and complete required rework on those airplanes,” Boeing said. It will continue delivering 737 Maxes that are not affected by the issue.
The defect is the latest in a string of manufacturing flaws Boeing has disclosed on the Max and in other programs while it tries to ramp up production to meet strong demand from airlines short on planes during a travel boom. Last month, the company said it is transitioning to a production rate of 38 a month from 31.
Boeing didn’t say whether the new issue would change its forecast to deliver between 400 and 450 Max jets this year.
This year through July, Boeing handed over 309 planes to customers, behind the 381 rival Airbus planes delivered in the same period.
The company said the issue, reported earlier by The Air Current, was not related to flight safety and that airlines can continue flying the planes. Boeing added that it has notified the Federal Aviation Administration.
Boeing shares were down about 3% in after-hours trading.