Boeing SC delivering first 787 since grounding today?
Boeing South Carolina appears to be handing over its first 787 Dreamliner since the Federal Aviation Administration grounded all the planes, halting deliveries, in January.
As of Wednesday morning, an Air India jet was parked outside the North Charleston plant’s delivery center.
And according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware, an Air India 787 is scheduled to fly from Charleston International Airport to Frankfurt, Germany sometime after 3 p.m. this afternoon. That’s where previously delivered Air India 787s flew before continuing on to South Asia.
A Boeing spokeswoman declined to comment on the apparent delivery activity.
“Our customers drive deliveries and the publicity of each delivery,” Candy Eslinger, the spokeswoman, wrote in an email.
The last time the local Boeing operation delivered a 787 was right around New Year’s. (The paperwork was complete in 2012, but since the financial transaction didn’t technically happen until 2013, it counted as a 2013 delivery.)
That delivery was also to Air India, the airline’s sixth and fourth made in South Carolina.
About a week later, a Japan Airlines 787 parked in Boston experienced a battery fire, and about a week after that, an All Nippon Airways suffered a similar smoky battery issue while flying over Japan, prompting the FAA grounding order.
After Boeing developed a multi-part fix, the order was lifted in April, and deliveries from the 787 factory in Everett resumed. The return to service has been mostly smooth, although there have been a few hiccups, like the emergency landing of a United 787 Tuesday.
In addition to the Air India 787, there were seven 787s on the North Charleston flight line Wednesday, including painted planes for Hainan Airlines and China Southern Airlines and the first SC-assembled Qatar Airways Dreamliner.
Reach Brendan Kearney at 937-5906 and follow him on Twitter at @kearney_brendan.