Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) has announced that it is it keeping its fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners grounded through April and May as it appears the troubled aircrafts will not have their ongoing battery issues resolved in the near future. This adds another 1,714 cancelled flights, bringing the total since the worldwide grounding began in January to more than 3,000. Most unfortunate for Japanese travelers is that this extension will cover the Golden Week period, a week-long holiday for businesses and schools across the country.
As Boeing’s largest customer for the flagship Dreamliner airplane, ANA currently operates 17 of 50 that have been delivered around the globe. Of the airline’s most recent cancellations, 1,250 are domestic flights, while 464 to international locations, including Seoul, Seattle, and Frankfurt. The grounding of the new airplanes, prompted by lithium-ion battery fire and the detection of smoke on a mid-air flights only a week later, has been a huge setback to Boeing. The manufacturer was betting on new advancements like a lightweight carbon fiber body to appeal to airlines struggling with aging aircrafts and the rising fuel costs of long-distance flights.
Just last week a probe into the troubled batteries by Japan’s transportation authority revealed the source of problem to be faulty wiring. Like, in the U.S., Boeing said it has come up with a solution, but safety regulators there say they are not yet convinced the issue has solved. The Federal Aviation Administration stated on Friday that it would begin meeting with Boeing executive to review the safety of the 787.