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Two Japanese Airlines Ground Boeing’s Dreamliner

Two Japanese Airlines Ground Boeing’s Dreamliner

After yet another mishap involving Boeing’s troubled 787 Dreamliner, Japan’s two largest airlines, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines, on Wednesday suspended all 787 flights.

The latest incident occurred onboard an ANA 787 en route from Yamaguchi Ube Airport, in western Japan, to Tokyo. According to a New York Times report, the plane’s battery malfunctioned, spilling smoke into the cabin and forcing the pilots to make an emergency landing at Takamatsu Airport.

All passengers were evacuated, using the plane’s emergency slides. There were no reports of serious injuries.

Officials representing Boeing and the FAA continue to insist that the Dreamliner is fundamentally safe, and that the issues are normal “teething” glitches that afflict any new aircraft in its initial in-service period.

Such reassurances, however, seem increasingly illegitimate as the plane’s problems continue to surface with no sign of either diagnoses or solutions.

Dreamliner Issues

The ever-growing list of 787-related incidents now includes the following:

  • On Sunday, a fuel leak was discovered on a Japan Airlines 787 at Tokyo’s Narita Airport.
  • A fire broke out on a Japan Airlines 787 in Boston earlier this month.
  • A fire similar to the one in Boston had been reported during the 787′s testing phase in 2010.
  • In December, an electrical malfunction forced a United Airlines 787 to make an emergency landing.
  • Later that same month, United reported that the same issue had been discovered on a second Dreamliner.
  • Also in December, Qatar Airlines grounded one of its 787s because of electrical issues.
  • The FAA has ordered inspections of potential fuel-line leaks on all 787s.
  • Last week, the FAA announced that it would subject the 787 Dreamliner to an unusual post-launch “review.”

About the 787 Dreamliner

The Dreamliner is Boeing’s most advanced airliner, featuring such cutting-edge technology as lithium-ion batteries a composite-plastic body.

The first 787 was received by ANA in September 2011, and since then about 35 787s have been delivered to eight airline customers, including United.

As of last month, the company had taken orders for 844 Dreamliners, and Boeing hopes to sell as many as 5,000 during the lifetime of the plane.

Reader Reality Check

Are the 787′s problems of concern to you? Would you fly on one anyway?

  • http://travelisfree.com/ Travel is Free

    I would certainly fly. Either it’s fine OR it’s not and I bet the airline would be willing to compensate in miles. ;-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.erickson2 Bob Erickson

    Of course, I would fly the 787. I already did on the first ANA flight from SJC to NRT on Saturday, January 11. I wasn’t deterred by the many problems reported before the 11th. There are 50 787s now in service for over a year and none of the incidents has resulted in any significant injuries or deaths.

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