13 Jul 2013

Heathrow open again after fire on Dreamliner jet

11:07 am on 13 July 2013

Runways at Heathrow airport in London are open again after a fire on a parked Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet.

A spokesman said arrivals and departures were suspended after the incident at 4.30pm (BST). No passengers were aboard at the time.

The BBC reports 50 Dreamliners worldwide were grounded worldwide in January after malfunctions with lithium-ion batteries on the planes.

Boeing later modified the jets with new batteries and flights resumed in April.

The Ethiopian Airlines Dreamliner in the Heathrow incident - named the Queen of Sheba - flew from Addis Ababa to Nairobi on the first commercial flight since the grounding.

Pictures of the Heathrow fire showed the Queen of Sheba close to a building and surrounded by fire vehicles. London Fire Brigade said crews were standing by to assist.

Fire-retardant foam appeared to have been sprayed at the airliner, but no damage was immediately apparent.

The BBC reports Heathrow reopened shortly before 6pm (BST).

In an unrelated incident, engineers were inspecting a Boeing 787 Dreamliner that was forced back to Manchester airport because of a technical issue.

Thomson Airways said the flight to Florida was turned back as a precautionary measure.

LOT not deterred

Polish airline LOT said it will continue to operate its four Boeing 787 Dreamliners, despite the fire at Heathrow airport.

A spokesperson said the airline was 'not concerned' by the incident and will continue flying the Boeing Dreamliners.

LOT was the first European airline to take delivery of the 787 last year.