Boeing resumes 787 deliveries, starts with ANA

NEW YORK (AFP) - Boeing said on Tuesday it has resumed deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner aircraft, suspended since January after the airplane was grounded globally because of overheated battery problems.

"Boeing has resumed 787 deliveries with an airplane delivered today in Everett to ANA," the US aerospace giant company said in a statement, referring to Japan's All Nippon Airways and Boeing's factory in Washington state.

"Despite the disruption in deliveries over the past several months, we still expect to deliver all the 787s we originally planned to by the end of the year," Randy Tinseth, Boeing vice president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a Boeing blog.

"We once again thank our customers for their patience and confidence as we begin delivering on our commitments." All 50 of the Boeing 787s in service were grounded in mid-January after a battery fire on a Japan Airlines plane parked at Boston airport and battery smoke on an ANA plane forced an emergency landing in Japan.

On April 25, the US Federal Aviation Administration approved Boeing's 787 battery fix that cleared the way for the aircraft to fly again. Ethiopian Airlines was the first airline to restore 787 service, two days later.

ANA, the first and biggest 787 customer with 17 of the high-tech planes in its fleet, said last week it would resume flights with the battery-modified 787s on June 1.

On Monday, United Airlines, the only US airline flying the Boeing 787, said it would restart domestic Dreamliner flights beginning May 20 on routes from Houston, Texas, to other domestic hubs.

United also announced the June 10 launch of its Denver-Tokyo service using the aircraft.

Despite the global grounding, Boeing had continued to build 787s at a rate of five airplanes per month.

The company said it was on track for a planned 10-a-month production rate by year-end, using its plants in Everett and in South Carolina.

Shares in Boeing, which earlier in the day announced an order from Turkish Airlines for 70 single-aisle 737s, were up 1.2 per cent at US$95.90 in late-afternoon New York trade.

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