787 woes worsen as fleets grounded
JAL and ANA have grounded their combined fleets of 24 787s in the wake of another incident involving onboard electrical systems that resulted in passengers of an ANA 787 being evacuated after a precautionary emergency landing at Takamatsu.
Pilots of the aircraft en route on the domestic light from Ube to Tokyo received a battery alarm on the flightdeck at the same time there were reports of smoke and fumes in the cockpit and cabin.
Last week a Japan Airlines 787 at Boston Airport suffered fire damage when the onboard lithium ion battery exploded during turnaround.
While last week seeking to reassure 787 operators and travellers alike that its new twin-jet was safe and probes into a series of incidents more a matter of routine, the voluntary grounding by JAL and ANA of their entire 787 fleets will be troubling to Boeing. The two Japanese airlines have around 100 aircraft on order, but more concerning to the manufacturer will be the reputational damage caused to the 787 in recent weeks.
Comments from the Japanese transport minister that “the Japanese people have become enormously worried after hearing almost every day” about 787 incidents will not help Boeing.
Fifty 787s have so far been delivered.