Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ethiopian Airlines ground Boeing 787 Dreamliners

ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopian Airlines is grounding its four Dreamliners, after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered a safety review for the aircraft, the airline said on Thursday.

"Following the directive of the FAA, Ethiopian has decided to temporarily pull its B787 Dreamliners out of service for precautionary inspection," Ethiopian Airlines said in a statement.

On Wednesday, the FAA issued a recommendation grounding all US-registered Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to address a possible battery fire risk.

India, the US and Japan were among the countries that grounded their fleets this week after a problem with the battery on an All Nippon Airways resulted in an emergency landing in Japan Wednesday.

Ethiopian Airlines said its Dreamliners had been "performing well" and the decision to ground the four planes was a precautionary measure.

"(We) have not encountered the type of problems such as those experienced by the other operators. However, as an extra precautionary safety measure and in line with its commitment of putting safety above all else, Ethiopian has decided to pull out its four Dreamliners from operation," the statement said.

In addition to the four Dreamliners in operation, Ethiopian Airliners has six more on order from manufacturer Boeing. The full fleet is expected to arrive by the end of 2014.

One of Africa's largest carriers, Ethiopian Airlines is the first African airline to operate the Dreamliner.  — Agence France Presse