First Boeing 787s are now being scrapped in Ireland
The disassembly of the first two Boeing 787s to be retired will be carried out by EirTrade, taking around three months to complete.
EirTrade Aviation has been awarded the task of disassembling the first two Boeing 787s to be retired. The global aviation asset management and trading company, based in Dublin, will simultaneously dismantle the two aircraft for spare parts.
The work will likely take around three months to complete, with the spare parts becoming available in late Q1 2023. EirTrade has not revealed the identities of the two Boeing 787s to be disassembled, adding that these details remain, for now, confidential.
Filling a gap in the market
The two aircraft in question will be the first commercial Boeing 787s to be retired from service, meaning that there is currently no used serviceable material (USM) available for this aircraft type. EirTrade’s work will therefore provide a way for other airlines and maintenance facilities to source used spare parts at a reduced price. Confirming the reasoning behind its plan, EirTrade’s chief executive officer, Ken Fitzgibbon, said,
“We are entering into a specialist area and hope to become a market leader in the provision of USM for the platform which will enable the reduction of the cost of maintenance events for B787 aircraft owners.”
The work is due to take place at one of EirTrade’s facilities in Prestwick, Scotland, with the material subsequently being stored in Ireland until suitable buyers can be found. The company’s hangar manager, Steven Trowell, who will oversee the disassembly, added that the process should take approximately three months to complete, and went on to say,
“Understandably, there has been huge interest in these aircraft. There will, of course, be challenges along the way, and were the disassembly taking place at our own facility in Knock, it would have afforded us a greater degree of flexibility in terms of manpower, tooling, and logistics. However, any potential disruption to the schedule will be kept to a bare minimum, and we are privileged to be given the opportunity of disassembling the first 787-8s.”
EirTrade is no stranger to dismantling widebody aircraft after having been involved in disassembling the first Airbus A380 to be retired back in 2019. According to its vice president for asset management, Lee Carey, the company’s proven track record and close relationships with airlines and MROs (maintenance, repair, and overhaul providers) around the world, were key to securing the deal.
Boeing 787 retirement
With the identities of the first two Boeing 787s to be disassembled still unknown, are there any likely candidates? To date, no airline has yet to announce the retirement of a commercial Boeing 787.
Photo: Soos Jozsef | Shutterstock
The oldest passenger Dreamliner is still in service with All Nippon Airways. The aircraft, registered as JA801A, was delivered to the airline in October 2011, and according to data from FlightRadar24.com, has operated to Quingdao (TAO), Taipei (TPE), and Hong Kong (HKG) in the past few days. United Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines are among the other carriers to still be flying older Boeing 787s dating back to 2011 and 2012.
It remains to be seen which aircraft will be the first to be disassembled, but one thing is for sure – the work will be carried out by EirTrade.