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Dreamliners: Not As Good As They Used to Be

Dreamliners: Not As Good As They Used to Be
Joe Cortez

The number of airlines frustrated with Boeing is growing, as KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is the latest to express dismay. In comments to a Dutch newspaper, the airline said they had problems with Boeing’s late deliveries and poor quality controls.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is joining fellow airlines in criticizing aircraft manufacturer Boeing, particularly when it comes to deliveries of the 787 Dreamliner. AirlinerWatch reports the flag carrier was not happy with their first 787-10, which was delayed and suffered from a myriad of post-delivery issues.

Speaking to a Dutch aviation website, a spokesperson from KLM explained that the airline was supposed to receive the first Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner in June 2019, exactly 100 days before they began celebrations of their 100th anniversary. Instead, the delivery was delayed and arrived with some issues. Problems with the new aircraft included loose seats, missing parts and an unattached fuel pipe clamp.

The aircraft came from Boeing’s factory in Charleston, South Carolina. KLM is placing the blame squarely on that shop, claiming the late delivery was due in part to a lack of factory workers and bad quality assurance. The same factory came under scrutiny earlier in 2019, when whistleblowers accused Boeing of valuing “production speed over quality.”

Other airlines are also taking note of Dreamliner aircraft coming from Charleston. Reportedly, Qatar Airways will only take Dreamliner deliveries from the Everett, Washington factory, while Etihad noted a recent Dreamliner handed over to it was “very bad.” And in August 2019, Ryanair executive Michael O’Leary had a very direct message for the Chicago-based aerospace company over the 737 MAX worldwide grounding.

However, not all is looking down for Boeing. Despite the troubles, KLM is very happy with the Dreamliner’s operational performance and wants more of the aircraft in the fleet. In addition to ordering more Dreamliners, KLM will exchange some of their Airbus A350 orders with sister airline Air France for additional Boeing airframes.


[Featured Image: KLM]

View Comments (18)


  1. oliver2002


    August 8, 2019 at 12:09 pm


  2. Tim_AZ

    August 8, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    This is what happens when the accountants take over the business.

  3. Rudi Seiberlich

    Rudi Seiberlich

    August 9, 2019 at 4:20 am

    I flew the Uniteds Dreamliner Business Class from BCN to EWR in June and I must say I was disappointed. Not as good as other Bussines classes.

  4. horseymike

    August 9, 2019 at 4:40 am

    boeing needs to stop trying to survive on a great history and get on the ball. they know how to make a great aircraft, they just need to do it.

  5. 200nites

    August 9, 2019 at 6:24 am

    Geez, clickbait headline

    This is what matters: “KLM is very happy with the Dreamliner’s operational performance and wants more of the aircraft in the fleet.”

  6. macssam

    August 9, 2019 at 6:52 am

    one time – never again
    these self tinting windows make nauseous
    terrible seats and layout

  7. sfcharles1

    August 9, 2019 at 8:24 am

    I don’t understand why everyone just doesn’t by airbus for a while until Boeing gets their act together.

    Frankly I don’t like risking my life because that company values profit over my safety.

  8. formeraa

    August 9, 2019 at 9:31 am

    @sfcharles1 Airbus is having their own production problems and don’t have any excess capacity for several years
    @macssam The seats and layouts are the airline’s choice (nothing to do with Boeing)
    @Tim_AZ I agree. They need factories where the workers actually have skills. Apparently, that is not the case in the Southern US.


    August 9, 2019 at 9:37 am

    Qatar Airways Only wants Planes from Everett,Washington? and Not from Charleston? What happened,someone forgot their Kool Aid or Menthols while Building The 787.

  10. ChrisNH38

    August 9, 2019 at 10:42 am

    I get the sense that Boeing-Everett is pointing fingers at Boeing-Charleston, forgetting that they’re the ones leaving tools in the KC-46s and generally making a mess of that whole program. Glass houses, et cetera.

  11. rgustafson7644

    August 9, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    It seems to me that some of Boeing problems may have something to do with the headquarters being in Chicago and the heart and soul of the company in Washington and South Carolina. I know its been almost 20 years since Boeing moved the headquarters to Chicago but culture change takes a long time. After so many years, many of the people in the headquarters office have never been in an aircraft manufacturing factory and have never lived with a day to day culture of high quality. They have no idea what it takes to create a high quality aircraft. But many of those newer employees are gathering data and providing analysis to assist the top leadership with decision making.

  12. FlyGUYClipper

    August 9, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    This sounds suspiciously like a way to criticize the non-union part of Boeing. Airlines don’t work in that way of releasing that kind of info or these issues happening and these kind of people disclosing it, its just not in their neighborhood of knowledge. Most of the media is corrupt [FAKE NEWS] so anything you read my fellow flyers consider 90% inaccurate. I am sorry to say, this is highly suspect. The media have destroyed themselves and they want us to believe them?. The way this is written is not how airlines operate.

  13. BC Shelby

    August 9, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    …read an article a month or so ago in the New York Times about issues at the Charleston 787 plant. The article focused on the plant’s shoddy quality control and situation of when workers would point it out, they were threatened with being disciplined or sacked. Some actually left the company voluntarily. The cases mentioned were somewhat disconcerting with sloppy finishing jobs that could cause wiring failures, damaged components that were installed, and tools (including in one casem a ladder) being left in planes that were delivered to customers.

    Delays in 787 deliveries were at first caused by the overheating battery issue, but more recently, the popularity of the plane itself among the airline community. The major selling points are it’s efficiency as well as improved cabin environment with better lighting, pressurisation, humidity and air quality (the 787 actually takes in air from outside the plane rather than simply recycling it, It’s competitor, the A350 doesn’t). However airlines are hot to modernise their fleets with more efficient aircraft to lower operating costs. This is where the rub is.

    The US’s largest airline, Delta cancelled it’s orders for the 787 because of the delays and went with the A350 which it took first delivery of in 2017 (the first 787 wouldn’t be delivered until after mid year 2020). They also chose the A321Neo as a replacement for the 757 (several orders were later converted to 321 XLRs) over the 737 Max because the Airbus plane better fit the airline’s needs.

    Added to this is the 737 Max situation along with not having developed a follow on for the ageing 757 (which has seen “new life” in the thin transatlantic route market) will not help matters much. The NMA’s configuration still has yet to be finalised and it is not expected to be ready for delivery until 2025 (while the Airbus A321 XLR will have already been in service for two years).

    Yeah in spite of this Boeing will survive, just maybe not in the “top dog”.position they have enjoyed since the 707 first took to the skies over 60 years ago.

  14. not2017

    August 9, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    One only has to click to read the source materials. Since there have been numerous complaints of Boeing leaving excess materials and other waste on delivered aircraft, I believe this post to be very accurate!

  15. Cotumely

    August 9, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    FlyGuy, is your post for real? Are you a Boeing spy?


    August 10, 2019 at 5:39 am

    ^ Oh gee, another brainwashed Trumper.

  17. HKT CPH

    August 10, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    Have a look, this is old news, and not fake news as FlyGUYClipper say ;-)

  18. CaliforniaSteve

    August 16, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    I flew on a 787-10 from BKK to SIN in business class on Singapore Airlines about a week ago. The plane didn’t seem to have any issues with it. Everything worked fine in the cabin. It was a much nicer experience than the old A330 that used to handle this flight (and I say that as someone who loved the 330 when it was younger).

    My only issue was that I felt the seat wouldn’t be comfortable in a lie flat position for someone like me, who’s 6’2″ tall and has size 12 (US) feet. I felt like my feet wouldn’t fit in the well very comfortably and I also felt like the back of the seat had some kind of overhang that made it seem like it would be quite claustrophobic. The seat issue is SQ’s, however, not Boeing.

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