Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Boeing 'progress' on battery faults

All Nippon Airways chief Shinichiro Ito speaks during a press conference at the company's office in Tokyo (AP)

The new president of All Nippon Airways, Boeing's biggest single customer for its troubled 787 Dreamliner, said he believes the US manufacturer has made progress in resolving problems with the aircraft's lithium-ion batteries.

How soon Boeing could fix the problems, which have led to the 787s being grounded worldwide for over a month, depends partly on the approval process by the US Federal Aviation Administration, said Shinichiro Ito, who became president of ANA Holdings and chairman of All Nippon Airways this week.

"It isn't up to me to say how far they've got in resolving this," he said, after ANA management met Boeing chief executive Ray Conner earlier this week.

Mr Connor is visiting Tokyo to explain to Japanese transport regulators and airlines his company's proposal for fixing the problems with overheating of the 787's lithium-ion batteries.

ANA, which has 17 of the 787s as Boeing's launch customer, has stood by the Dreamliner, while trying to minimise the impact on its operations from the battery fiasco.

"If the battery problem is resolved, I am confident the aircraft will be fine," Mr Ito said. "Once the (Boeing proposal) is approved, we will discuss when to resume operations."

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