Following Wednesday’s grounding of their fleets of Boeing 787 Dreamliners by All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines in Japan, the US and Indian aviation authorities have followed suit, thus grounding Dreamliner flights by United and Air India. Qatar Airways, LOT Airlines and LAN-Chile have also grounded their Dreamliners.
The US Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency order telling US airlines to cease flying B787 Dreamliners until they can prove that batteries on board are safe.
“The FAA will work with the manufacturer and carriers to develop a corrective action plan to allow the US 787 fleet to resume operations as quickly and safely a possible,” the FAA said in a statement.
“The battery failures resulted in release of flammable electrolytes, heat damage and smoke on two model 787 airplanes. The root cause of these failures is currently under investigation. These conditions, if not corrected, could result in damage to critical systems and structures, and the potential for fire in the electrical equipment.”
United, which is currently the only US airline operating the Dreamliner, with six B787s in service, said that it would immediately begin transferring passengers to other aircraft. “United will immediately comply with the airworthiness directive and will work closely with the FAA and Boeing on the technical review as we work toward restoring 787 service,” a spokeswoman for the airline said.