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FAA grounds all Dreamliners

By control on January 17, 2013

Following a series of Boeing 787 battery incidents, the FAA grounded all Dreamliner flights with an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) issued on Jan. 16.

This action followed a Jan. 11 announcement that the regulatory agency and Boeing would conduct a joint design and production review of the plane. All of the world’s airlines using the new plane followed suit and cancelled 787 flights.

Boeing subsequently issued a statement expressing confidence that the 787 is safe and its intent to stand behind the plane’s overall integrity.

"The safety of passengers and crew members who fly aboard Boeing airplanes is our highest priority,” said Jim McNerney, Boeing’s chairman, president and CEO, in a statement released following the FAA’s ruling. "Boeing is committed to supporting the FAA and finding answers as quickly as possible. The company is working around the clock with its customers and the various regulatory and investigative authorities. We will make available the entire resources of The Boeing Company to assist.”

Qatar Airways, which currently has five Boeing 787-8 aircraft in its fleet was one of the first airlines to announce it was adhering to the FAA’s directive.

“I previously stated that Qatar Airways will only stop operating our Dreamliners if we receive such an instruction from regulators,” said Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways’ CEO. “Safety remains the number one priority for Qatar Airways. We ensure all our aircraft meet the most stringent safety standards and this will not be compromised in any way. In light of recent events surrounding the Boeing 787 Dreamliner worldwide, we are actively working with Boeing and the regulators to restore full customer confidence in the 787.”

Al Baker said Qatar Airways will resume 787 operations when it becomes clear the aircraft meets the full requirements of the AD and the airline’s own standards.

Other airlines with 787s in operation prior to the grounding include LAN, Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines and Air India.

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