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US orders airlines to ground Dreamliners

United operates six Dreaminers
United operates six Dreaminers

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has ordered US-based airlines to cease all commercial flights using the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The US aviation body was already conducting a review into the aircraft, following two incidents last week involving Japan Airlines’ (JAL) Dreamliners in Boston. But yesterday’s emergency landing of an ANA Dreamliner, and the subsequent grounding of all Japanese B787s, has led the FAA to issue the new directive.

Only one US-based carrier, United Airlines, currently operates the Dreamliner, and it has now grounded its fleet of six aircraft.

Boeing said it respected the FAA’s decision.

“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,” the planemaker’s chairman, president and CEO, Jim McNerney, said in a statement.

“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 traveling public of the 787’s safety and to return the airplanes to service.

“Boeing deeply regrets the impact that recent events have had on the operating schedules of our customers and the inconvenience to them and their passengers,” he added.

The FAA directive will only apply to US-based airlines, and Dreamliners operated by other carriers into US airports will not be affected.

Following the US and Japanese groundings, 30 out of the total global fleet of 49 Dreamliners have now been temporarily taken out of service – 17 with ANA, seven with JAL and six with United.

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