Boeing’s Dreamliner is probably the world’s most advanced passenger aircraft. It cost a massive $32 billion to develop and much of the company’s future success is based on the success of the aircraft. However innovation is a risky business, as we discuss in chapter 16. So it is not surprising that such a revolutionary aircraft will have some technical problems. But in the airline business, such problems can be life threatening, as a major concern for airlines and their passengers is safety.
Unfortunately for Boeing the list of technical failures and safety concerns appears to be growing, as identified in a BBC Business News item. Several airlines have had to cancel flights, and more worryingly, the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority in December 2012 expressed concern about fuel couplings on the aircraft. In October 2012, the manufacturer had over 800 orders for the aircraft. It remains to be seen if these firm up in the months and years to come.