Boeing warns of ice risks for 787 and 747-8 jets

Boeing warns of ice risks for 787 and 747-8 jets

By Kate Rice
Boeing has alerted airlines that 787 and 747-8 jets with General Electric engines should avoid thunderstorms that may contain ice crystals.

Aircraft should fly 50 nautical miles around such storms, Boeing advised.

Boeing issued the advisory after finding that ice crystal formation in some instances reduced the engine’s thrust.

United, Japan Airlines and Lufthansa are among the airlines that fly the planes covered in the advisory.

Japan Airlines confirms $9.5bn Airbus order

Japan Airlines confirms $9.5bn Airbus order

By Phil Davies

Japan Airlines confirms $9.5bn Airbus orderJapan Airlines has confirmed its first order for Airbus aircraft with a deal for 31 wide-body jets worth $9.5 billion.

The agreement also includes options for a further 25 aircraft.

The deal covers the purchase of 18 A350-900s and 13 A350-1000s, with the first aircraft due to enter service from 2019. The aircraft will gradually replace its ageing fleet over a six-year period.

It is the first order the European manufacturer has had from Japan for A350 EWB (extra wide-body) aircraft.

The A350-900 seats more than 300 passengers in a typical three-class configuration on routes as long as 8,100 nautical miles. The A350-1000 is the largest member of the A350 XWB Family, seating 350 passengers on flights of up to 8,400 nautical miles.

Jal president Yoshiharu Ueki said: “We will utilize the A350 XWB to maximum, which offers high level of operational efficiency and product competitiveness, while positively catering to new business opportunities after slots at airports in Tokyo are increased.

“In addition to improving profitability with advanced aircraft, we always aim to deliver unparalleled services to customers with the latest cabin and steady expansion of our route network.”

Airbus president and chief executive Fabrice Brégier said: “We sincerely welcome Japan Airlines as a new Airbus customer and feel honoured by this first-ever order from Japan for our all-new A350 XWB.

“It fills us with pride to see a leading Japanese airline start a new chapter with us. This highlights a very bright and flourishing future for both of us, Jal and Airbus.”

The first A350-900 is due into commercial service in the second half of 2014. Airbus now has more than 750 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 38 customers worldwide.

Dreamliner grounding poised to be lifted

Dreamliner grounding poised to be lifted

By Phil Davies

Dreamliner grounding poised to be liftedA three-month grounding of Boeing 787 Dreamliners could begin to be lifted as early as today.

The US Federal Aviation Administration is tipped to announce Boeing has demonstrated that the 787’s redesigned batteries are safe.

Regulators have been convinced that various internal enhancements and a new protective metal container will prevent fires and automatically suck smoke or toxic fumes out of the aircraft, theWall Street Journal reported.

Foreign regulators are expected to follow the FAA’s lead. That means many of the fuel-efficient 787s could resume carrying passengers as early as May.

FAA chief Michael Huerta and transportation secretary Ray LaHood are poised to give the green light for Boeing to help airlines retrofit more than 50 Dreamliners.

The 787s were grounded globally in January after lithium-ion batteries burned on a pair of aircraft in little more than a week.

The fixes are expected to take less than a handful of days, but other aircraft testing and refresher training for pilots could stretch into additional weeks.

After the expected announcement, Boeing will issue a service bulletin instructing airlines how to revamp the battery systems, and the FAA will issue a formal safety directive mandating the changes.