Second Norwegian Dreamliner Goes Back to the Shop

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Norwegian Air Shuttle expects to get one of its two 787 Dreamliners back from Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) late next week. Then the airline will send the second plane to Boeing as a “precautionary measure.” Good idea.

In a report from Reuters, an airline spokesperson said, “Boeing has gone through the plane completely and made all the necessary improvements.” Wanna bet?

Like so many other Boeing customers, Norwegian Air has run into multiple issues with its Dreamliners. Whether the others have followed the airline’s example and returned the planes to Boeing for a full inspection is unknown, but it does seem like it would be a good idea.

On Monday, Boeing lost a huge order from Japan Airlines (JAL), which signed a purchase agreement for 31 Airbus A350s with an option for 25 more. That was JAL’s first-ever order for an Airbus plane. The A350 is slightly larger (and more expensive) than the 787, but smaller than Boeing’s venerable 747.

It is pretty easy to poke a finger in Boeing’s eye over the constant stream of glitches that have followed the launch of the Dreamliner. But flying airplanes is serious business, and the string of relatively minor problems that have surfaced so far reveal more about the company’s management than it does about the safety of the airplane.

Boeing’s shares closed at $115.44 on Tuesday and are up fractionally in premarket trading Wednesday morning to $116.00. The stock’s 52-week range is $69.30 to $120.38.