Are dreamliners safe? Al Jazeera sting video and response

Dreamliner was Boeing’s most prestigious project but its launch was delayed several times and got lots of bad press due to battery related fires and airlines having to ground their entire fleet of 787s. Recently I watched this Al Jazeera video (available below) which accuses Boeing of compromising on quality of 787 Dreamliner aeroplanes, in order to save time and cost. It involves hidden camera recordings of employees saying they will never fly on the Dreamliner, few former employees stating that they were pressurized to give quicker sign offs/compromise on quality/safety procedures in order to meet the deadlines and that FAA officer who certified Boeing Dreamliner was later hired to lobby for the Boeing with US Government.

The story looked convincing and viewers would feel very unsafe flying in a Dreamliner.  Video has secured 2 million+ views and counting, thousands of comments both in support and in denial. But then, are the accusations true? Consider these:

Above video was published in 2014. Dreamliner first entered service in 2011. It has been several years since the Dreamliner is back in service and selling in good numbers. If there were serious flaws in its design and constructions, there should have been some serious incidents by now. Fortunately, nothing of that sort happened. Except the initial fallback due to battery issues, there’s not been any significant incident post its re-introduction.

I am sure the airlines around the world are not fools to accept a faulty plane. They will do enough checks and testing before accepting a delivery. Any major fault should come out during such a pre-delivery inspection.

Only thing we don’t know is the long term durability. If quality of materials/worksmanship is not good, may be planes will start giving trouble early- like say after 15 years instead of usual life span of 20-25 years. Only time will tell this- we can’t assume or predict right away. Hopefully, Dreamliner will last longer and provide good ROI to airlines.

Below is what CEO of Qatar Airways says… He says Qatar inspectors are working on the ground with Boeing in the assembly plant to ensure that planes are being built with required quality. He feels the AlJazeera video is a sensationalization attempt by a few former disgruntled employees and there’s no risk with the Dreamliner. He says delays are minor issues are always common with airline projects and they are never serious enough to hamper safety of passengers and will be sorted over time.

If you’ve watched both the videos, what is your opinion?

No comments

Powered by Blogger.