Boeing on track to meet annual Dreamliner delivery goal

Boeing Co. said Friday it is on track to deliver 120 Dreamliner commercial airplanes this year.

Boeing Co. is on target to hit its Dreamliner delivery goal for 2015 with 30 of the twin-aisle commercial aircraft delivered to customers through the first quarter of this year, the company said Friday.

The company — which makes the 787 Dreamliner at its North Charleston campus and in Everett, Wash. — brought 11 of the planes to customers in March. That follows a dozen deliveries in February and seven in January, according to Boeing statistics.

Boeing has said it plans to deliver at least 120 of the planes during 2015, following 114 deliveries that were made last year.

Uresh Sheth, a Wall Street banker and Dreamliner analyst who writes the “All Things 787” blog, said five of the March deliveries were 787-9 models while the other six were the shorter 787-8 models.

“In April, I am projecting 14 787 deliveries, including Japan Airlines’ first 787-9 and a whole gaggle of 787-8 for American Airlines that have been delayed because of the continuing saga at Zodiac,” Sheth said on his website, referring to Zodiac’s inability to deliver Dreamliner seats on time. “Norwegian’s final direct purchase 787-8 should also be delivered this month as well.”

Dreamliners built in North Charleston accounted for three of the Dreamliner deliveries, with a pair of 787-9s going to United Airlines and one 787-8 going to Air India.

Boeing has now delivered a total of 258 787s. Of those, 238 are 787-8 models and 20 are 787-9 models, according to production tables compiled by Sheth.

Boeing also announced that it received 34 new orders for Dreamliners in March, bringing the total orders for the 787 line to more than 1,100.

On the production side, the Everett site is turning out an average of seven Dreamliners each month, while the North Charleston plant’s assembly goal is three per month. The local production quota is scheduled to increase to five a month in 2016 and then to seven a month in 2019.

All told, Boeing delivered 184 aircraft through the first quarter of 2015 — 23 more than the same period a year ago.

“These numbers show we continue to execute on our production rate increases,” Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said on his “Randy’s Journal” website. “That’s especially important as we begin final assembly of the new 737 MAX later this year.”

The 737 MAX — the next generation of the popular 737 model — will be built in Washington State, with Boeing’s new Propulsion South Carolina facility in North Charleston supplying engine inlet components.

The propulsion center, located at Palmetto Commerce Park, also will design fan cowls for the 737 MAX and will engineer and design engine nacelles for Boeing’s wide-body 777X, which begins production later this year.

Reach David Wren at 937-5550 or on Twitter at @David_Wren_