Eight of the planes will be grounded for inspection and repair of how parts of the fuselage were joined together, Boeing said in a statement.
“Boeing has identified two distinct manufacturing issues in the join of certain 787 aftbody fuselage sections, which, in combination, result in a condition that does not meet our design standards,” said the company’s statement. It said it is conducting a thorough review into the root cause of the problem.
There are nearly 1,000 787s that have been delivered to 69 different airlines worldwide since it started operations in 2012.
Spokespeople for United and Singapore confirmed that each airline had one of the eight affected planes in its fleet. Both airlines said the affected planes were not in service when the problem was discovered. Most of the widebody jets worldwide have been grounded due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Air Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It has 37 Dreamliners overall in its fleet.
The Federal Aviation Administration says it is aware of the problem with the 787 and “continues to engage with Boeing,” but aviation regulators did not say whether they plan to issue a safety bulletin to operators about the issue. Boeing says the FAA has been “fully briefed, and we will continue to work closely with them going forward.”
A Boeing spokesman could not immediately say whether the manufacturing problems related to both plants or only one.