All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd. (TYO:9202), which operates 17 of the grounded Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) 787 Dreamliner jets, will retrain its pilots to operate the craft, with a resumption of flights set for June, according to a published report.
All 50 of the largely carbon-composite Dreamliners were grounded on Jan. 16 out of concerns about the jet’s lithium-ion battery, which has caught fire or overheated while the plane is in use.
ANA, which will begin retraining about 200 pilots on the aircraft this month, initially will use its 787s for cargo flights only, Reuters said Tuesday.
The airline’s decision reflects its expectation of regulatory approvals for Boeing’s new lithium-ion battery, which it plans to install on all Dreamliners.
ANA "is making as many assumptions as it can and is preparing based on them,” a source told Reuters. “In order to resume flights from June, it needs all 200 of the pilots ready to be flying by then.”
Chicago-based Boeing, meanwhile, is conducting flight and ground tests, and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board will hold a two-day forum on April 11-12 to examine the design and performance of lithium-ion batteries and a separate hearing April 23-24 on the Dreamliner’s batteries.