Sunday, January 20, 2019

As more Boeing SC 787s are built, analyst expects another delivery record

After delivering an all-time-high 145 Dreamliner jets last year, Boeing Co. 787 plants in North Charleston and the Seattle area are expected to repeat their record-setting performance in 2019.

That’s largely because of the production increase from 12 to 14 jets per month.

Boeing won’t say exactly when the rate will tick up, if it hasn’t already, citing the “quiet period” prior to next week’s quarterly and year-end earnings report.

But the company’s North Charleston campus started preparing for the boost in 2018 and planned to hire hundreds of people to support the higher rate.

It’s not clear how many people now work at Boeing South Carolina because the aerospace firm hasn’t updated the annual labor report on its website.

It’s likely Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg will address the ramp-up during his Jan. 30 teleconference with financial analysts.

In the meantime, analyst Uresh Sheth, who tracks Dreamliner production on his All Things 787 website, said he thinks Boeing “will break rate by mid-February and start delivering at 14 per month around early April.”

Sheth notes that many Boeing suppliers are already producing components at the higher rate.

With more Dreamliners rolling out of the factory, Sheth said he expects Boeing will deliver 164 of the wide-body jets in 2019.

That’s four shy of the 14-per-month rate, but “it is one thing to assemble the aircraft at 14 per month and another matter when delivering the product at that rate,” he said.

Sheth’s delivery breakdown, by plant and model, looks like this:

Boeing South Carolina will deliver a total of 85 Dreamliners: one 787-8, 50 787-9s and 34 787-10s, which are built exclusively at the North Charleston campus. Everett will deliver 79 Dreamliners: 9 787-8s and 70 787-9s.

Sheth isn’t entirely convinced Boeing will be able to book enough new orders to keep cranking out 14 Dreamliners per month, a rate that would eat through the production backlog by September 2022.

“I believe that if they get fewer than 144 net orders per year for the next two years, Boeing will be forced to reduce the production rate to 12 per month,” he said.

Original article ➤

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