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Boeing delays 787 deliveries

Feb 08 2013 19:59 AFP
Boeing 787

The Dreamliner was grounded due to a fire risk in the plane's lithium batteries. (Picture: AFP)

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New York - Boeing said on Friday that it had informed buyers of its troubled 787 Dreamliner that deliveries would be delayed as US air safety experts investigate two burned battery incidents on the aircraft.

"We have informed our customers expecting 787 deliveries in the near term that those aircraft either have been or are at risk of being delayed," a company spokeperson said in an email to AFP.

Earlier on Friday Norwegian Air Shuttle, one of the main 787 customers in Europe, pressed Boeing on delivery of the 787, the company's newest aircraft.

"As one of Boeing's biggest customers in Europe, we expect that the aircraft manufacturer does everything in its power to get the aircraft ready for delivery as soon as possible," the airline's chief executive Bjoern Kjos said in a statement.

On January 16, the 50 Dreamliners in service around the world were grounded after a battery fire on a parked Japan Airlines (JAL) plane and battery smoke on an All Nippon Airways flight forced an emergency landing.

Two days later, Boeing suspended deliveries of the aircraft until further notice, but continued production.

The US National Transportation Safety Board, the US Federal Aviation Authority, and Japanese and French authorities are investigating the cause of the battery incidents.

The NTSB on Thursday suggested it could be weeks before it reaches a conclusion on what caused the battery fire aboard a JAL 787 at Boston's Logan International Airport on January 7.

That could be key to the FAA allowing 787s to resume flying.

"We are staying in close communication with our customers as we work towards an approved means of compliance with the FAA Airworthiness Directive and develop a plan for resumption of 787 deliveries," the Boeing spokesperson said.

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