Boeing 787 Enters Commercial Service – Again

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United 787


On April 19, 2013, the FAA approved a new design for the 787’s lithium-ion battery system. This comes just over three months after all 50 of the jets were grounded world wide for flaws in the battery system. It was determined that the original design would pose a fire risk.


The Japanese authorities cleared ANA and Japan Airlines, who together own about half of the 50 Dreamliners flying, last week to return their jets back into service. Both airlines will conduct more tests to ensure that the battery modifications will solve the overheating issues that plagued two jets back in January 2013. The Japanese carriers will also add battery monitoring into the flight deck. ANA said that it would resume operations after all 17 of its planes are repaired. Each plane takes approximately five days to complete and at an estimated cost of $464,763 per jet – paid for by Boeing. The first flight for ANA is expected to be in June of 2013.


Ethiopian Airlines resumed commercial service with the 787 over the weekend. It was the first commercial flight since January 17, 2013. While Ethiopian came back over the weekend with a successful flight, not every airline is rushing to return to the skies so soon. Below are the other international carriers that operate the 787 and their estimated return to service dates.


Qatar – May 2, 2013

LOT – June 5, 2013

Air India – May 22, 2013

LAN – June 30, 2013

Japan Airlines – June 1, 2013


United Airlines, the only U.S. carrier flying the 787, said it hopes to resume its 787 service on May 31, 2013. There has been a lot of speculation that United could resume the 787 in its schedule earlier than May 31; although, United as declined to address that possibility publicly. As of today, the 787 is on their schedule for May 31, 2013 between their Houston and Denver hubs.

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