Boeing sees deliveries, battery fixes in weeks
NEW YORK- Agence France-PresseBoeing expects to resume deliveries of the grounded 787 by early May and to complete its battery fix for the high-tech plane by mid-month, company chief Jim McNerney has announced.
In an upbeat conference call after reporting robust first-quarter earnings, McNerney said on April 24 that the company began installing its redesigned battery system “immediately” after receiving Federal Aviation Administration approval.
The FAA approved Boeing’s solution to the problematic lithium-ion batteries last week, which include replacing them and their chargers with modified components and installing a steel enclosure system to contain any overheating. The decision cleared a key hurdle for the 787 to return to service after three months of being grounded worldwide following two incidents of battery overheating.
So far, Boeing has begun installations on 10 aircraft owned by airlines and nine planes being readied for delivery, said McNerney, Boeing chairman, president and chief executive. “We expect to complete the bulk of fleet retrofits by mid-May... and deliveries are expected to resume in early May,” he said.
The FAA will have to approve the installations on US airlines before allowing the plane to fly again. United Airlines has six 787s, the sole US carrier owning the Dreamliner.