Boeing began installing reinforced lithium-ion batteries on five grounded 787 jets in Japan on Monday,starting a process that should make the first commercial Dreamliners ready to fly again in about a week.
Boeings Dreamliners have been grounded since regulators in the United States and elsewhere ordered all 50 planes out of the skies in mid-January after batteries on two of them overheated. U.S. regulators approved a new battery design on Friday.
The grounding has cost Boeing an estimated $600 million,halted deliveries and forced some airlines to lease alternative aircraft. Several airlines have said they will seek compensation from Boeing,potentially adding to the plane makers losses.
The first five jets to receive the new strengthened battery system all belong to All Nippon Airways,the airline that launched the first commercial Dreamliner service.
Our first priority is to get the existing fleet back into the air, Larry Loftis,vice president and general manager of the 787 program,told European reporters.