Saudia won't accept Dreamliner without safety guarantee

The head of Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) has said he will not accept eight ordered Boeing Dreamliner jets next year unless the US manufacturer guarantees the aircraft’s safety following problems with the battery in 2013.

Every Dreamliner globally was grounded for three months a year ago after a battery caught fire in Japan, then another in Ethiopia in July.

Airline executives have since expressed their confidence in the aircraft but Saudia acting director general Abdul Aziz Al Hazmi said he would seek further assurance from Boeing before accepting the eight jets ordered.

“We have been following the problem related to the Dreamliner’s battery system. We’ll not receive the plane from Boeing unless it gives us an official assurance that the problem has been solved,” Al Hazmi told Saudi daily Asharq Al Awsat.

“According to our information, Boeing has found a solution to the overheating of the aircraft’s lithium-ion batteries. They have to do it because many international airlines are using this aircraft.”

Al Hazmi said his organisation would not be lenient on issues of passenger and aircraft safety.

“We give top priority to safety,” he claimed.

The Dreamliner is Boeing’s newest and most sophisticated passenger jet and it is the first time the US manufacturer has used lithium-ion batteries on a commercial aircraft.

UAE company Strata, an aerostructures manufacturing firm owned by Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Aerospace, is set to produce vertical rib parts for the Dreamliner at its Al Ain base.

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Aviation chiefs call for aircraft tracking upgrade

Aviation chiefs call for aircraft tracking upgrade

The aviation industry has failed to make adequate progress on...

Boeing mulls larger engine for biggest 737 MAX

Boeing mulls larger engine for biggest 737 MAX

Aircraft manufacturer looking at pair of mid-market jets with...

Changing course: Flynas CEO Paul Byrne

Changing course: Flynas CEO Paul Byrne

For nearly a decade, Saudi Arabia’s second airline struggled...

Most Popular
Most Discussed
sponsoredTracking