It would be an understatement to say that Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner aircraft has had a checkered service history very early into the plane’s introduction as the U.S. airplane maker’s prime model. And just as one would think that the Dreamliner has endured all its birth pains, a third incident in as many days again raises concerns about the safety of Boeing’s top aircraft.
Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) has just released information on Wednesday saying that it was forced to cancel one 787 Dreamliner flight from Yamaguchi prefecture to Tokyo due to brake problems. This incident immediately follows another cancelled 787 flight, this time by Japan Airlines (JAL), from Boston’s Logan International Airport because of a fuel leak. Just a day before that, an electrical fire – interestingly one of the main reasons why the Dreamliner was grounded for a long time before finally being allowed to fly commercial flights – was recorded on another JAL 787 after a flight to Boston from Tokyo. Asian customers still pin hopes on the Boeing brand name, hoping that these incidents are just “teething troubles” that are common on new planes. Japan is Boeing’s largest customer for the Dreamliner and these Japanese airlines have confirmed that they had no plans to scale back or cancel orders for the aircraft, which is listed at US$207 million per plane. JAL spokesman Kazunori Kidosaki said that the carrier had no plans to change orders it has placed for another 38 aircraft, already owning seven of them. ANA has 17 Dreamliners and will also stick with its orders for another 49, spokesman Etsuya Uchiyama said.
Air India took the delivery of its sixth Dreamliner on Monday of the 27 in total that it has ordered. The state-owned airline said that precautionary measures were already in place because of these incidents, but they also said that their planes were flying smoothly. “It’s a new plane, and some minor glitches do happen. It’s not a cause of concern,” said Air India spokesman G.Prasada Rao. JAL and ANA are operating a total of 24 of the 49 new planes. The aircraft entered commercial service in November 2011, more than three years behind schedule after a series of delays and safety concerns. Boeing has sold 848 of the planes all in all.
[via Business Recorder]