19 Jan 2013

Boeing suspends delivery of new Dreamliners

7:00 pm on 19 January 2013

Boeing has suspended deliveries of its new 787 Dreamliner aircraft until a battery problem is resolved.

The US aerospace giant says it will continue to build the plane, but not deliver any until US safety officials give their backing.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has joined the Dreamliner investigation.

"We will not deliver 787s until the FAA approves a means of compliance with their recent airworthiness directive concerning batteries and the approved approach has been implemented," a Boeing spokesperson says in an email.

All 50 of Boeing's 787s - currently being flown by eight airlines around the world - have been suspended from flying since an All Nippon Airways (ANA) flight on Wednesday made an emergency landing because of a fault.

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has said the Dreamliner will not fly again until authorities are "1000% sure" it is safe.

Battery problems of most concern

A string of issues in recent weeks has raised questions about the 787, which is the subject of the first major aircraft grounding since 1979.

Incidents such as fuel leaks, a cracked cockpit window, brake problems and an electrical fire have occurred. However, the BBC reports, battery problems have caused the most concern.

The pilot of the ANA plane landed after he smelled burning and received a cockpit warning of battery problems. All passengers evacuated the plane on emergency slides.

Boeing is investing heavily in the Dreamliner, which has been in service since October 2011,

and needs to sell 1100 over the next decade to break even.