Strategic Meetings Summit London, 26 September,
September 29 2022, Kimpton Fitzroy London
Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a formal directive lifting the ban on Boeing 787 Dreamliners. According to Thursday's directive, airlines can begin using the aircraft after they have modified the battery system. The FAA will be closely monitoring the modification and inspecting the work. The announcement ends the three-month grounding of the Dreamliner that began in mid-January due to a series of incidents involving the faulty lithium-ion battery system used on the aircraft that caused problems in two different planes operated by Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airlines.
As a result, the FAA issued an emergency airworthiness directive requiring all Dreamliners to “temporarily cease operations”. The directive was also endorsed by the European Aviation Safety Agency. Airlines including Air India, Qatar Airways and United Airlines have postponed new routes that were originally planned to deploy the B787; while other airlines such as JAL, ANA and Air India have used alternative aircraft for their 787 services.
Boeing has since taken action to correct the problem, and last month Mike Sinnett, vice president at Boeing Commercial Airplanes and chief project engineer of the 787 programme, said at a press conference in Tokyo he was confident that 787 could fly again "within weeks".
The directive issued by the FAA yesterday has stated the conditions Boeing needs to meet before the aircraft can go back to service. In addition to modification of the battery system, the conditions also include revising the maintenance programme and installing main and auxiliary power units. The directive only applies to the US, however, and United Airlines is currently the only carrier in the country with 787s in its fleet. For airlines in other countries, further acceptance and approval from local authorities are required before the aircraft can fly again. According to a spokesperson from ANA, the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) has informed the airline that the ban will be lifted in Japan soon, but hasn't announced any details about specific actions that are needed for the aircraft to fly again or the date from which 787 services can restart.There are a total of 50 Dreamliners currently operated by eight airlines around the world, and 840 are on the order books. Future Dreamliners deliveries will come with the redesigned battery system.
Ethiopian Airlines is set to become the first carrier to resume flights using its Dreamliner. It is scheduled to operate a one-off Addis Ababa to Nairobi flight on Saturday (April 27) with the Dreamliner resuming operation on the Addis Ababa to Frankfurt service from Sunday (April 28).