Grounded Dreamliner Update: Report Says Boeing Expects 787 Fix 'Soon'

According to a report from Reuters, Boeing expects problems with its Dreamliner 787 will be fixed “soon.”

Why the FAA Grounded Dreamliner

Boeing Customer Optimistic

This latest update is attributed to Bjorn Kjos, chief executive of Norwegian Air Shuttle, who added Boeing told him the Dreamliner his airline ordered will be delivered on schedule in April. Kjos also referred to what is believed to be at the heart of the 787’s current difficulties – a problem with the plane’s lithium batteries – when he elaborated on his conversation with Boeing officials: “They say it is going to be fixed soon; they have a plan.”

Airlines Said to be Losing Millions

The FAA grounded the Dreamliner last week after a series of troubling incidents in this country and Japan. The long-delayed and highly anticipated 787 has been praised as a technological marvel for its light-weight, fuel-efficient carbon-fiber composite construction.

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Until its grounding, it was flown in Japan and in this U.S. by United Airlines (several other airline customers are awaiting delivery). Meanwhile, a UK publication claims that the grounding is costing airlines millions as they scramble for substitute planes while juggling schedules and  passengers.

Boeing Apology

On its website, Boeing has a message for the public, which reads in part:

“The safety of passengers and crew members who fly aboard Boeing airplanes is our highest priority. Boeing is committed to supporting the FAA and finding answers as quickly as possible. Boeing deeply regrets the impact that recent events have had on the operating schedules of our customers and the inconvenience to them and their passengers.” -Statement of Boeing CEO Jim McNerney, Jan. 16, 2013

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Earlier Grounded Aircraft: DC-10

Bloomberg reports that this is the most recent grounding by the FAA since 1979 when the government agency ordered the McDonnell Douglas-built DC-10 to quit flying in the wake of fatal crashes. So far, no one has been hurt in the 787 incidents, and it should be noted that the DC -10 did return to the skies and is still being used today by companies like Federal Express.

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Published: January 22, 2013