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Boeing said it plans to spend several days fixing mis-drilled holes on 50 undelivered 737 planes, in work that’s expected to cause further delays for the troubled aerospace firm. 

In a memo sent out to employees on Sunday, Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Stan Deal said the company plans to dedicate several days at its 737 factory in Renton, Washington to carrying out inspections and reworking fuselages supplied to it by Spirit AeroSystems. 

Shares in Boeing
fell more than 2% in premarket trading on Monday. The stock has lost nearly 20% so far in 2024.

The Boeing chief executive said efforts to rework the 737 fuselages could delay some “near-term” deliveries of its classic single-aisle plane, which is used by major airlines including Southwest Airlines
Delta Air Lines
and Ryanair

Boeing was alerted to the issue by its main fuselage supplier, Spirit AeroSystems
after an employee at the Kansas manufacturer raised concerns with his manager about the mis-drilled holes following a Jan. 5 incident in which a panel blew out a Boeing 737 MAX mid-air. 

“This past Thursday, a supplier notified us of a nonconformance in some 737 fuselages…While this potential condition is not an immediate flight safety issue and all 737s can continue operating safely, we currently believe we will have to perform rework on about 50 undelivered airplanes,” Deal said. 

Boeing has faced major scrutiny since the Jan. 5 incident on the Alaska Airlines operated flight that saw the 737 MAX forced to make an emergency landing within minutes of taking off. 

In an interview with the Financial Times on Monday, Emirates Airline
president Tim Clark said Boeing is now in the “last chance saloon” as he said he had seen a “progressive decline” in Boeing standards, which he blamed on poor management within the firm. 

Clark said Boeing’s prioritization of profits over high standards had led to a series of missteps inside the company, including its decision to start outsourcing parts of its manufacturing to suppliers, such as Spirit AeroSystems. 

The Emirates Airline chief also hit out at Boeing’s decision to shift production of its 787 planes to South Carolina, following battles with unions in Washington, as he called on the company to prioritize safety over all. 

Boeing has faced various issues with delays in recent years following two fatal crashes in 2019, that to led to the grounding of its 737 MAX planes.

Spirit AeroSystems was approached by MarketWatch for comment.  

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