All 50 Boeing Dreamliner aircraft that are currently in service for various global airlines have been grounded, with Ethiopian Airlines becoming the latest of the airlines to ground its fleet.
The airlines are grounding the aircraft due to fears for its airworthiness following incidents of its onboard battery catching fire. This week two Japanese airlines, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airlines, became the first to ground their Dreamliner aircraft and begin an investigation into its safety standards. The Dreamliner is touted to be the first to offer mid-size airplane capabilities on long-distance routes.
The USA’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an emergency airworthiness directive for the temporary suspension of operations for all Boeing 787 Dreamliners in the US, a decision that has resulted in the grounding of all Dreamliners flown by United Airlines.
Ethiopian Airlines has stated, ‘Ethiopian Dreamliners have not encountered the type of problems such as those experienced by the other operators.
However, as an extra precautionary safety measure and in line with its commitment of putting safety above all else, Ethiopian has decided to pull out its four Dreamliners from operation and perform the special inspection requirements mandated by the US FAA.’
In a statement defending the airworthiness of Dreamliners, Boeing chairman, president and chief executive officer, Jim McNerney, said, ‘The safety of passengers and crew members who fly aboard Boeing airplanes is our highest priority.
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.
We are confident the 787 is safe and we stand behind its overall integrity. We will be taking every necessary step in the coming days to assure our customers and the travelling public of the 787’s safety and to return the airplanes to service.’