Reuters reports that Norwegian has requested a meeting with Boeing to discuss its 787 challenges. The airline has two 787s in its fleet and another three on order.
The two in service aircraft have experienced service delays; a power supply problem, a brake problem and then a hydraulic problem. According to the airline, yesterday they had another issue – oxygen supply to the cockpit on one of their 787s. The other 787 was substituted for the Oslo-JFK flight. But when this aircraft was ferried from Stockholm to Oslo, it had a load sheet problem which was fixed in Oslo. The JFK flight left four hours late. The other aircraft with the oxygen problem has been fixed and is flying to Bangkok today.Norwegian appears to be concerned with Boeing’s quality control. Reading each of the links above one notes references to “some teething problems” and “We have confidence in these aircraft, that’s why we bought them.” But the disruptions are wearing through the goodwill, as evidenced by their comments “we are going to tell them that this is far from good enough” and “clearly Boeing has not had good enough operative quality control” from a Norwegian spokesperson.
The 787-8 has been a source of frequent interruptions; ANA had another recently but still as refers to the airplane as an “indispensable aircraft”. Then there are the perennial complaints from Qatar. Not all the Qatar 787 issues have been made public.
This news was pushed to back of the headlines as Boeing first flew the 787-9 last week. The -9 appears to be a much improved aircraft. Reports indicate the derivative has benefited from the steep learning curve. We expect to see more conversions from the -8 to the -9 because it seems to be a much better airplane overall.
The 787 is now under a media microscope like no other airplane in history, magnifying each incident. Boeing does have a problem with nagging issues and quality control, which have resulted in poorer than anticipated dispatch reliability. Airlines, of course, are angered when flights are cancelled, because passengers remember the airline that cancelled the flight, not the fact that it was a Boeing issue or problem.