Qantas (Jetstar) first 787 still due in August, but …
The disclosure by Qantas CEO Alan Joyce that it would take delivery of its first Boeing 787-8 for Jetstar this August is being misreported as Qantas pressing on regardless.
There is zero possibility that Qantas would do this without the jet being assessed as safe to resume flight, indeed, it wouldn’t even be able to leave the factory.
That decision will be made by the US FAA. Both the FAA and the air safety investigator, the NTSB, appear to be taking the same hard line when it comes to determining the cause of the battery failures, and the development and certification of a ‘fix’, which may take considerably longer than August this year.
Everyone hopes it will not take that long, but the US media is picking up signs of discord between the two US agencies and Boeing as to the course of action that needs to be taken, and it is the FAA that is the decision making authority, and which wears the risks that would come with making a decision that proved premature or wrong.
While Boeing continues to say the jets are in production and that deliveries from April onwards are unaffected there is little that carriers like Qantas/Jetstar or anyone else promised deliveries later this year can do, other than hope that concerns about the safety of the Dreamliners are quickly left behind by a resumption of trouble free service.
All of the Dreamliners that were in service, and all of those held in storage at Everett or which are currently being assembled will require modifications that have yet to be determined and certified. Unless that can be achieved rapidly, the situation at Qantas and among Dreamliner customers in general will become very difficult for everyone.