Ethopian Airlines and All Nippon Airlines (ANA) have conducted their first 787 flights since the aircraft type was grounded more three months ago.
On April 27 Ethopian operated the world’s first 787 commercial flight since the US FAA approved design changes to enhance the robustness of battery systems aboard the aircraft.
The following day ANA successfully conducted a proving flight from Haneda Airport carrying ANA and Boeing executives, including the manufacturer’s head of commercial airplanes Ray Conner, as well as flight test engineers.
ANA had been gearing up for the aircraft’s return to service, deliberating on plans to arrest Japense customers’ unease.
The airline’s new CEO Osamu Shinobe told The Wall Street Journal in an interview: “Seventeen of our planes are out of action, so we can’t just tell our customers to fly on the planes as soon as we’re finished fixing them,” adding “ANA first will have to take steps to reassure customers the planes are truly safe.”
Japan Airlines will begin test flying its seven 787s during May and hopes to have the aircraft back in commercial service in June.
Meanwhile, Boeing’s Conner is simply relieved to see the aircraft flying again.
“After three months it’s a terrific feeling to have an ANA 787 back in the air, and I am very pleased to say that it was a perfect flight on a perfect day,” Conner told reporters present at the first flight.
Boeing will continue to work with airlines to undertake the modification work, which weighs approximately 68kg, to return 787s to flight in the coming weeks.
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