28 Apr 2013

Dreamliner makes first flight after grounding

7:01 am on 28 April 2013

The troubled Boeing 787 Dreamliner has made its first commercial flight since the planes were grounded in January because of battery malfunctions.

Fifty planes around the world were grounded after two meltdowns in lithium-ion batteries within two weeks, one of which caused a fire in a plane at a US airport.

An Ethiopian Airlines 787 Dreamliner landed safely in Nairobi, Kenya following a two hour flight from from Addis Ababa on Saturday.

Over the past week, teams of Boeing engineers have been fitting new batteries to the aircraft after aviation authorities approved a revamped battery design, the BBC reports.

In addition to new versions of the batteries which run at a much cooler temperature, the batteries are now enclosed in stainless steel boxes.

Air New Zealand has orders for three Boeing 787 Dreamliners to arrive late next year.