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Monday, April 29, 2013

Boeing 787 Takes Flight in Africa, Japan

By Woodrow Bellamy III

Ethiopian Airlines became the first carrier to return its Boeing 787 to commercial service on Saturday, marking the first commercial flight since on-board fires grounded the aircraft in January. 
The flight followed FAA approval of Boeing's redesigned lithium-ion battery system for the 787, allowing Ethiopian and other operators to retrofit their Dreamliners with the new system. Saturday's flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Kenya, was reportedly completed with no problems. 
“We would like to thank Ethiopian Airlines for the patience, support and leadership shown throughout the period that the 787 Dreamliner has been grounded. We congratulate the airline on the return to commercial service of their 787 fleet," said Ray Conner, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways (ANA) also completed its first successful test flight with the Boeing 787's redesigned lithium-ion battery system from a Tokyo airport on Sunday. 
The Japan Transport Safety Board approved the battery fix following approval by FAA last week, allowing ANA and Japanese Airlines (JAL) to begin the process of returning their Dreamliners to commercial service. 
"Today we were able to accomplish the first test flight after the necessary modifications," ANA said in a statement Sunday. "Every conceivable cause which could lead to battery overheating was identified and the modifications include comprehensive solutions to cover all of them."

ANA, the launch customer of the 787, will be conducting more test flights before returning the aircraft to commercial service in June. ANA and JAL are the largest operators of the 787. 

Related: Boeing 787 Battery Redesign Approved by FAA

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