Boeing halts deliveries of troubled 787 planes

US aviation giant says it has suspended deliveries until technical problems are resolved
By Andy Sambidge
Sat 19 Jan 2013 11:06 AM

Boeing has stopped deliveries of its troubled new 787 Dreamliner aircraft until a battery problem has been fixed.

The US aviation giant said it will continue to build the plane, but will not deliver any until US safety officials gave their backing.

All 50 of Boeing's 787s - including the five of Qatar Airways, the Middle East's largest customer - have been suspended from flying since an All Nippon Airways flight on Wednesday made an emergency landing due to a fault.

"We will not deliver 787s until the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] approves a means of compliance with their recent Airworthiness Directive concerning batteries and the approved approach has been implemented," said a Boeing spokesman in comments pubished by the BBC.

The aircraft has experienced several mishaps over the last week, including an electrical fire that caused severe damage to a plane. 

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines grounded their fleet of Boeing 787s on Wednesday after one of the passenger jets had to make an emergency landing.

Dreamliners have suffered incidents including fuel leaks, a cracked cockpit window, brake problems and an electrical fire. However, it is the battery problems that have caused the most concern.

This week, US and European aviation regulators said planes should be grounded while safety checks are carried out on their lithium ion batteries.

On Thursday, Boeing Middle East said it was working hard to resolve the issue with regulators.

“We are working with our regulatory authorities and clearly we want to resolve this,” Jeff Johnson, president of Boeing Middle East told Arabian Business.

“It will be a great airplane but we are going to have to work through these issues with all of the authorities,” he added.

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