Ethiopian Airlines first to resume 787 Service. Air India to follow
It appears that Ethiopian Airlines will be the first air carrier to resume service using the troubled Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The aircraft will be used on a relatively short flight from Addis Ababa to nearby Nairobi, Kenya this Saturday, April 22nd. This first flight will come about three months after the worldwide fleet of 50 Dreamliner's was grounded due to problems with the batteries catching fire. Air India has stated that they also plan on resuming 787 service within the next week or so. Their aircraft have already received the work necessary to fix the battery problem and the airline is now just waiting for approval from the Indian equivalent of the FAA to carry passengers aboard. No word yet as to exactly which route the aircraft will fly on but it was previously used on medium haul domestic flights within India from the airline's Delhi hub. Other airlines hope to have their Dreamliner's back in the air as soon as possible. United Airlines has begun ferrying its grounded aircraft to Kelly Field in Texas so that it can begin the repair process. United will resume domestic 787 flights on May 31st and International service on June 10th. Qatar Airways plans to have their Dreamliner's back in the air by the end of the month. I certainly hope this is true since I am scheduled to fly on one in the middle of May from Dubai to Doha. Japanese carriers JAL and ANA, both direct victims to the battery problems, have started the battery repairs in Tokyo. A JAL, Japan Air Lines, jet started on fire while parked at Boston Logan International and fumes from a problematic battery aboard an ANA flight forced it to make an emergency landing in Japan. ANA, All Nippon Airways, is currently the largest operator of the type. Even though the 787 groundings have led to financial losses and widespread scrutiny for Boeing, the company will actually be delivering more Dreamliner's in the next few months than originally expected. Boeing kept producing the aircraft but the FAA wouldn't allow delivery to the customers for obvious reasons, causing a backup in the factories. Many carriers are anxious to take delivery of the state of the art aircraft and put it into service, assuming there are no more problems. Deliveries from the manufacturer's factories in Washington and South Carolina will resume in early May. Here's to smoother skies for the Dreamliner! The Thirty Thousand Blog is written by Kyle Dunst. Like us on Facebook or follow @30ThousandBlog on Twitter.