The 787 is Becoming the Work Horse of the Airlines that Acquired it.
In spite of all the initial launch problems with the 787, it is probing that it is a capable, fine
aircraft with all the airlines that bought it and are flying it.
Boeing incorporated improvements to the aircraft that include the introduction of simplified display and control(DCA) software, which in mid-2014 was cited as the third largest cause of delays after issues with spoiler control units and brakes. “Since then, we have rolled a couple of block software changes,” says Mike Fleming, Boeing’s 787 vice president for
service & support.
“We continue to track every interruption on the fleet, and the engineering teams review it to understand if it’s a known or new problem. Over the last two years, the rate of new problems has come down on the aircraft. Once we know about them we are devising improvements,” adds Fleming, who says that the main focus for improvements is now on elements of the flight controls, electrical system, software and air conditioning system.
The key issues are “a combination of things. Most are component problems as opposed to system problems or integration issues,” he says.
The following are comments from airlines that are flying the 787:
- The economics of the aircraft are strong. Air Canada recently told investors that when it switched from the 767 to the 787-8 between Toronto and Tel Aviv, it was able to carry 31% more passengers and 350% additional cargo while using 3% less fuel.
- After a difficult start, LOT Polish Airlines stated that one of its aircraft, which is wet leased to Air Europa, has enjoyed a dispatch reliability of almost 100%. “As such, it is the most reliable Boeing 787 in the world,” says LOT. In terms of fuel burn against the 767-300 which the airline used before the 787, shows average savings of 10-11% on the same routes.
- All Nippon Airways (ANA) is the largest airline operator of the 787. On August 17th, the airline took delivery of its 50th 787 Dreamliner, a 787-9. The airline is pleased with the aircraft and stated that fuel savings versus the 767 are at 21% for the long-haul flights & 17% for short-haul.
As of this writing the fleet has accumulated 1.3 billion revenue miles, saving 9 billion pounds of fuel in the process. The aircraft has opened new nonstop markets that did not exist before this airplane went into service. An impressive feat.
Source : Aviation Week/Boeing/Ed’s Research from Various Sources.