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Boeing delays decision on 787-10 production site

NORTH CHARLESTON: Boeing Co has delayed a decision on where it will build the 787-10, the newest version of its 787 Dreamliner, a spokeswoman confirmed on Monday.

Jack Jones, vice president and general manager of Boeing South Carolina, said in December that an announcement on where the new high-tech plane would be assembled would come in the first quarter of this year.

That decision has been delayed, Jones said, according to The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina. He did not give a reason for the delay.

Asked about the report, Boeing spokeswoman Candy Eslinger said, "We’re just really weighing all of our options right now."

A decision will be made this year, Eslinger said.

A backlog of thousands of work orders at Boeing’s North Charleston, South Carolina plant stemming from an increase in the production of 787s and its stretch version, the 787-9, forced the company to hire hundreds of contract machinists and quality control workers late last fall and this year.

Those workers were put to work catching up on the backlog, contract workers and Boeing employees told Reuters. The backlog was expected to take six months to a year to clear up, a contract worker who did not want to be named for fear of losing employment told Reuters in January.

All aft and midbody fuselage sections for the 787-8 and 787-9 are built in North Charleston, with final assembly of most airplanes taking place in Everett, Washington.

The North Charleston plant is scheduled to build three fully assembled 787-8s a month by midyear and begin performing final assembly on the 787-9 in the fall, Boeing officials have said.

Boeing launched the 787-10 in June 2013 at the Paris Airshow. The aircraft drew 102 provisional orders worth nearly US$30 billion at list prices.