Disassembly imminent for the first retired Dreamliners


It seems like only yesterday that the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner was launched, and indeed it was relatively recently, with the first commercial flight taking place in 2011. It may come as a surprise then that two B787-8s are about to be retired – the first Dreamliners to be retired from commercial service – and disassembled.

EirTrade Aviation, a Dublin-based aviation asset management and trading company, will manage the disassembly and consignment of the aircraft. The two 10-year-old aircraft will be disassembled simultaneously off-site, with parts expected to be available in late Q1 2023. The company has not disclosed the identity of the previous operator/s of the two Dreamliners.

Ken Fitzgibbon, CEO of EirTrade Aviation says that with the first B787s approaching the 12-year check, the disassembly of these two aircraft could not come at a better time for operators and maintenance facilities looking to source used serviceable material (USM) for the aircraft to reduce the cost of maintenance.

“As no B787s have been retired from commercial service to date, there is almost no USM market for this platform at the moment. 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,” said Fitzgibbon.

The disassembly process will be coordinated at facilities in Glasgow Prestwick Airport in Scotland and managed by Steven Trowell, EirTrade’s hangar manager. He forecasts that the disassembly process will take around three months.

“Understandably, there has been huge interest in these aircraft,” said Trowell. “There will, of course be challenges along the way and were the disassembly taking place at our own facility in Knock [Ireland], 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.”

Trowell added that with careful and in-depth planning over the last couple of months, EirTrade Aviation is confident that the task can be completed in three months. Furthermore, EirTrade is AFRA approved, which is important for enabling recycling of the aviation materials left over.

Lee Carey, VP of asset management at EirTrade, stated that EirTrade will be managing the inventory of assets with a view to selling, leasing or exchanging material removed from both aircraft, which will be stored in one of the company’s facilities in Ireland. “We have, of course, already inducted Boeing and Airbus widebodies for disassembly and are no stranger to disassembling new technology aircraft, having previously been involved in the first A380 aircraft to be retired and one of the first companies to disassemble the CFM56-7BE engine.”

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Ever since his first flight on a TriStar, Adam has loved air travel, and since becoming editor of the Aircraft Interiors International brand he has really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the latest aircraft and airline products before they are even launched. Adam co-ordinates the running of the magazine, from commissioning articles and artwork, to ensuring that high standards of quality are maintained, as well as managing online content. Adam is proud to sit on the jury of the Crystal Cabin Awards and to have laid on the bed in Etihad's Residence.

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