SEATTLE, WASHINGTONBoeing announced that it would suspend 787 production after finding another production-related structural defect, and a major customer partially canceled a 737 MAX order, in a double hit to the U.S. planemaker's COVID-19 pandemic recovery.

Chicago-based Boeing now forecasts delivering fewer than half of the lingering 100 or so 787 Dreamliners in its inventory this year - instead of the "vast majority" it had expected - as it continues forensic inspections and costly repairs to address quality flaws in the aircraft.

Boeing did not disclose a new production rate for the 787 program, but said it would shift temporarily below the already-slow current rate of five jets per month.

"To us, this is more significant than the cut to the delivery forecast, as it ripples down through the supply chain," Vertical Research Partners analyst Robert Stallard said in a client note.

"The supply chain cannot just be turned on and off like a switch," Stallard added.

Separately, United Arab Emirates airline flydubai said on Tuesday it has agreed with Boeing to cut the number of 737 MAX aircraft it will take delivery of by 65. The airline has already taken delivery of 16 MAX jets out of its total order of 251, according to Boeing's website.

Boeing shares were down 3.3% in the afternoon trading against a fractionally lower Dow Jones Industrial Average.

For the year so far, the company has delivered 156 jets of all types, compared with 157 for all of 2020, Boeing said.

The latest production-related flaw, first reported by Reuters on Monday, involved unacceptable gaps around the forward pressure bulkhead, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said.

The FAA said late on Monday that Boeing, which spotted the problem, would fix it before the planes are delivered.
Via Reuters