Ethiopian Airlines became the first carrier in the world to resume services with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner passenger aircraft since the fleet was grounded globally three months ago following incidents of overheating in the batteries providing auxiliary power.
Ethiopian landed the flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi Saturday April 27, 2013. It was the first flight since regulators grounded all Dreamliners on January 16 after two lithium-ion battery meltdowns that occurred on two jets with other airlines within two weeks that month.
Last week, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified solutions proposed by Boeing to the battery issues allowing Ethiopian and other operators to retrofit the new and additional systems and resume flights with the Dreamliners, the airline operator said.
According to Ethiopian Airlines, Boeing and Ethiopian engineers are implementing solutions certified by the US FAA.
“Following the successful completion of the retrofitting work on the airplane and smooth test flight by Ethiopian pilots, the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority approved the commercial flight resumption of Ethiopian Dreamliner. These solutions will be done on all four of Ethiopian Dreamliners one after the other,” the company said.
Ethiopian grounded its four Dreamliners on January 17, 2013, following directives issued by the FAA and the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority due to the incidents related to battery issues on Japanese carriers.
Ethiopian is the first African and the third airline in the world to own and operate the Dreamliner.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi