Boeing 787 Production Might Face Supply Crunch Due to Quake

March 14, 2011
Relies on Japanese companies for 35% of the content of the Dreamliner

Boeing said on Mach 14 that it was assessing the impact of the Japanese earthquake disaster on aircraft production, warning of a potential supplies crunch if disruptions continued for several weeks.

The Chicago-based aerospace giant relies on Japanese companies for 35% of the content of the much-delayed 787 Dreamliner.

After the powerful quake and tsunami struck northeastern Japan, Boeing is still reviewing the situation, but there has been "no major impact on the factory areas themselves," spokesman Tom Brabant said.

The factories involved primarily lie south of Tokyo, he added.

"It's probably too early to tell right now. We have talked to our suppliers. Their factories are in good shape," said Jim Albaugh, president and chief executive of Boeing's commercial aircraft unit.

In a CNBC television interview on the sidelines of an Arizona industry conference, Albaugh noted questions remained about the availability of power, infrastructure, transportation and ports in Japan.

Asked about the impact from production disruptions on supplies, Albaugh said: "We have a little bit of stock, but not much. I think if we go longer than several weeks we'll have issues."

Albaugh said the 787 Dreamliner, which is running three years behind the initial schedule, appeared on track to meet the company's third-quarter target of first delivery to Japanese airline All Nippon Airways.

"We will deliver this summer," he said.

The 787 is about 85% through its test flight program and Federal Aviation Administration certification, he said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

See Also

Earthquake Puts Brakes on Japan's Auto Production

Deadly Japan Earthquake Risks Fiscal Crisis

Earthquake Halts Manufacturing in Parts of Japan; Automakers Hit

Autoliv's Employees, Plants in Japan Safe

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