Due to a shortage in airplane seats, Boeing has decided to park two 787 Dreamliners in the desert indefinitely.
Two brand-new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft destined for American Airlines will have to spend some time in the sun before the manufacturer hands over their keys. Bloomberg reports the two aircraft, fresh off the assembly line, are being parked in the Mojave Desert while they await a shipment of premium-class seats.
The decision to stow the aircraft stems from issues with seat manufacturer Zodiac Aerospace. The lie-flat seats, which can cost up to $300,000 each, are currently in short supply. As a result, Boeing is unable to complete manufacturing of the aircraft. The two 787s are the third and fourth grounded Dreamliners promised to American due to the seat shortage.
“It’s slow, it’s a real problem,” American Airlines CEO Doug Parker told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “We can all complain about seat manufacturers, but we can’t fly the airplanes without proper seats. It is really disappointing.”
In order to speed up the process, Boeing says it has sent 150 employees to Zodiac’s manufacturing facility in France, where they will give Zodiac employees a hand in moving the seats forward. The seat manufacturer claims increased orders for both the Dreamliner and the competing Airbus A350 have maxed out their engineering capacity. Boeing is confident that with their employees’ assistance, Zodiac will be able to get things rolling again.
“We have a plan with Zodiac and we’re currently working together on improving that,” said Pat Shanahan, a senior vice president with Boeing. “Between the Boeing personnel on site and Zodiac’s own team, progress is being made.”