Japanese Airlines Ground All Their 787s

 - January 16, 2013, 9:58 AM
ANA has taken delivery of 17 Boeing 787s. (Photo: Boeing)

All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines have grounded their entire fleets of Boeing 787s following an emergency landing this morning by an ANA Dreamliner in western Japan. In the latest of a string of incidents over the past month, the ANA 787 diverted to Takamatsu roughly an hour into a flight from Yamaguchi to Tokyo after instruments in the cockpit indicated a battery malfunction and pilots reported an odd smell. All 129 passengers and eight crewmembers evacuated safely. ANA, which operates 17 Boeing 787s, said it would cancel some domestic flights and replace 787s originally scheduled for international services with other airplane types.

In a statement sent to AIN, JAL said it canceled all but one round trip originally scheduled for 787 service on Wednesday; it replaced the Dreamliner slated to fly between Tokyo Narita and Singapore with a Boeing 777. JAL also canceled four flights scheduled for Thursday to and from Tokyo-Haneda and Singapore and between Boston and Narita. It planned to operate a single round trip between Narita and Boston with a 777 and another between Narita and Singapore with a 767.

The grounding comes just days after U.S. aviation authorities said they would launch a special “review” of the 787’s design and manufacturing processes in reaction to a January 7 fire aboard a JAL 787 parked at Boston Logan Airport and three  incidents in December involving power panel malfunctions. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has begun examining the lithium-ion battery that powered the JAL airplane’s auxiliary power unit in an effort to determine the ignition source.