Two Japan Airlines Dreamliners Diverted Due to Glitches

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October 11, 2013

In more trouble for the Dreamliner, Japan Airlines Co Ltd, or JAL diverted two of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights bound to Tokyo from San Diego and Moscow following electrical glitches.

The Dreamliner, launched two years ago, has been hit by a spate of technical and safety issues in recent months.

Japan Airlines (JAL) says it has turned around two of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft during flights due to technical problems.

A system to prevent ice from accumulating around the engine failed on a Tokyo-bound Dreamliner flight from San Diego, while another fault rendered six toilets unusable on a flight from Moscow.

The planes turned back and landed where they had originated from.

The incidents occurred days after the Boeing Company suffered a severe blow when one of its key Japanese customers, JAL, snubbed Boeing in favor of its European rival, Airbus, in a deal to buy 31 A350 jets.

At the time, Yoshiharu Ueki, the president of JAL, said he was "sorry for the troubles we have caused our customers with the 787," but maintained that the decision to switch vendors had nothing to do with the Dreamliner's troubles.

The latest incidents were reportedly due to a fault in the plane's electrical line and are not linked to the jet's lithium-ion batteries that caused Dreamliner fleets worldwide to be grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, on Jan. 16.

JAL was one of the first airlines to report burnt batteries on one of its Dreamliner planes, which resumed operations in the second quarter of 2013.

These are the latest technical issues to hit the Dreamliner, which saw the entire fleet being grounded earlier this year following battery problems.

The anti-icing system failed on a Tokyo-bound flight that took off from San Diego.

A spokesperson for JAL told the BBC that a similar issue had forced a Tokyo-to-Singapore flight to be turned back in June this year.

The 787 Dreamliner has suffered a series of technical and safety problems in recent months.

In January, its entire fleet was temporarily grounded. That move was prompted after a fire broke out on one of JAL's Dreamliners, and an All Nippon Airways (ANA) flight was forced to make an emergency landing because of a battery fault and a fire in one of the electrical compartments, said BBC

Though the planes have since been allowed back into the air, other issues have emerged.

Battery problems resulted in the entire Dreamliner fleet being grounded earlier this year

In July, a fire broke out on a 787 jet operated by Ethiopian Airlines while it was parked at Heathrow airport. It was traced to the upper rear part of the plane where a locator transmitter is located.

Then in August, ANA said it had found damage to the battery wiring on two 787 locator transmitters during checks. US carrier United Airlines also found a pinched wire during an inspection of one of its six 787s.

The issues have hurt Boeing.

Earlier this week, JAL announced a $9.5bn (pound 5.9bn) plane deal with rival Airbus. It is the first time that it has agreed to buy Airbus planes, having preferred Boeing for many decades.

Analysts have hinted that issues with the Dreamliner may have played a role in JAL's decision.

However, despite the issues the Dreamliner is still considered to be one of the most advanced planes in the industry and continues to remain popular.

Boeing has received orders for more than 950 jets since its launch.

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