News Column

Boeing: Dreamliner Flights Could Resume Within Weeks

March 15, 2013

Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets could be making commercial flights again within weeks, the U.S. manufacturer said Friday after all of its newest aircraft were grounded in January following a series of incidents, including battery failures.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration Tuesday approved Boeing's plan to redesign the aircraft's lithium-ion batteries.

The delay before resuming commercial flights was expected to be "along the line of weeks," president and chief executive Ray Conner told reporters in Tokyo, dismissing the suggestion that it would probably take months.

On January 7, an empty Dreamliner operated by Japan Airline Co. (JAL) suffered an electrical fire at Boston's Logan International Airport. Nine days later, an All Nippon Airways (ANA) Dreamliner made an emergency landing in western Japan because of battery problems.

The model was then grounded worldwide.

Mike Sinnett, chief project engineer for the aircraft, said engineers had spent more than 200,000 hours looking into the battery failures and found 80 possible causes.

But "we may never get to the single root cause," Sinnett said.

ANA and JAL operate 17 and seven Dreamliners, respectively, out of the 50 jets that Boeing has delivered so far.



Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH