March 25, 2023

Concern and Canceled Flights as Airlines Wait for 787

Boeing is trying to convince federal regulators that it has found ways to prevent the hazards with the lithium-ion batteries that led to the grounding of the new planes in January. On Friday, the company met for several hours in Seattle with technical representatives of the airlines to go over those plans.

Since mid-January, the eight carriers that received 50 787s have canceled thousands of flights and scrambled to rearrange their schedules.

Because airlines have few planes to spare, the grounding of the 787s has had a ripple effect throughout their networks. United Airlines, for instance, has delayed new services between San Francisco and Paris and between San Francisco and Taipei, Taiwan, for several weeks because planes originally needed on those routes were being used as replacements for the 787s.

Boeing hopes the 787s, made with lightweight carbon composites to save fuel, can fly passengers again in April. But some aviation analysts said it could be three to six months before that happened.

Michael P. Huerta, the head of the Federal Aviation Administration, told Congress this week that agency experts were evaluating Boeing’s plans to redesign and test the battery. He said his staff would provide him with its assessment of Boeing’s proposals next week.

“Once we approve a plan, then we have to go through the process of actually implementing the plan, which would involve a great deal of testing, a great deal of further analysis and re-engineering before those planes will be flying again,” Mr. Huerta said.

Officials from the federal agency said Boeing needed to conduct more laboratory tests on the proposed changes before they would consider test flights.

Safety investigators are still not certain what went wrong in two separate incidents in which one battery caught fire and another emitted smoke.

Besides dealing with the hazards, Boeing will probably end up paying the airlines tens of millions in compensation for the disruptions, analysts said.

The plane’s biggest customer to date, Japan’s All Nippon Airways, has canceled over 3,600 domestic and international flights through May.

United, the only domestic carrier with the planes so far, has taken the 787s out of its schedule until June 5, said Christen David, an airline spokeswoman. United has made one exception to its 787 cancellations. A new service between Denver and Tokyo-Narita, which was supposed to begin on March 31, is now scheduled to begin on May 12.

United declined to say how much revenue it had lost because of the 787’s grounding and what type of compensation it would seek from Boeing.

Poland’s national airline, LOT, has taken its two 787s out of its schedule through the end of September and will also seek compensation from Boeing. One of its planes is still parked at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.

Air India has said Boeing might provide compensation for the difference in the costs of operating a larger 777 instead of the more fuel-efficient 787.

The other 787 operators are Japan Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, LAN Airlines of Chile and Qatar Airways. Boeing has orders for about 800 additional jets.

Raymond L. Conner, the chief executive of Boeing’s commercial airplane division, visited Japanese airline executives as well as regulators on a trip to Tokyo this week.

All Nippon has 17 787s, which make up about 7 percent of its fleet. The carrier has said that its 150 787-trained pilots have been forced to remain at home while pilots for other types of planes take on the additional workload. But the airline said this week that it had no plans to cut back on its orders for 49 more 787s.

Article source:

Bucks Blog: Monday Reading: Busting Some Common Food Myths

December 31

Monday Reading: Busting Some Common Food Myths

Busting come common food myths, finding friends (or maybe more) at the airport, the real hazards of e-devices on planes and other consumer-focused news from The New York Times.

Article source:

Bucks Blog: Friday Reading: Letting Patients Read the Doctor’s Notes

October 05

Friday Reading: Letting Patients Read the Doctor’s Notes

Entrepreneurs are starting up with fewer employees, American Airlines grounds planes to fix loose seats, and other consumer-focused news from The New York Times.

Article source:

Bucks Blog: Monday Reading: Expect Packed Planes for the Holidays

October 31

Monday Reading: Expect Packed Planes for the Holidays

Expect tightly packed planes this holiday season, Bank of America may tweak plans for debit-card fee, tips on finding college scholarships and other consumer-focused news from The New York Times.

Article source: