Local News

United Airlines pulls Boeing 787 out of service until June 5

787 Landing at Sydney AustraliaK65674CHICAGO — With the Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration, United Airlines said it is keeping the beleaguered aircraft off its flight schedule through June 5.

“We are taking the 787 out of our schedule through June 5, except for Denver-Narita, which will tentatively launch on May 12,” said Christen David, a spokeswoman for the airline.

United, the only U.S. carrier that has 787s in its fleet, has six of the planes. Boeing has delivered 50 787s to eight airlines worldwide.

The plane was grounded Jan. 16 by the FAA after two incidents occurred within two weeks involving the plane’s lithium-ion battery systems.

The technology was first implicated in a Jan. 6 fire aboard a parked 787 in Boston operated by Japan Airlines. The National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the root cause of the event, but said this month that investigators had found a short circuit in one of the aircraft’s batteries.

In the second event, Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways had to make an emergency landing Jan. 16 in southwestern Japan after a warning of a battery failure. Investigators for the country’s Transport Safety Board have been looking into the circumstances that led to the incident.

On Thursday, the board said it found the battery was improperly wired, though more analysis was still needed.

Boeing has taken 848 orders for the Dreamliner from airlines and aircraft leasing firms around the world. Depending on the version ordered, the price ranges from $206.8 million to $243.6 million per jet.

The Chicago aerospace giant said it is working with the affected airlines and the regulatory agencies to get the matter resolved.

All Nippon Airways, which has 17 of the new planes, said earlier this month it is expecting 126,220 passengers to be affected by 1,887 flight cancellations through March 30.

– W.J. Hennigan/Los Angeles Times

 

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