Boeing 787 Dreamliner In Trouble Yet Again After LOT Airline And Norwegian Air Shuttle Suspend Flights

 @AmruthaGayathri on September 30 2013 2:01 AM

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by Poland’s LOT airline was forced make an unexpected landing in Iceland on Sunday due to a glitch in the plane’s identification system, a day after Norwegian Air Shuttle (STO:NASO) grounded one of its new Dreamliners and demanded that Boeing repair the plane after it experienced multiple breakdowns.

The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), which has been beset with technical problems concerning the Dreamliner 787 aircraft since it first flew commercially in October 2011, has been put to further test with the fresh complaints, while for state-run LOT, the incident adds to a laundry list of issues, including profitability and flight delays, which has dogged the airline for years.

“The aircraft had to land due to an air identification system fault. The Norwegian authorities have refused permission to fly over its territory, even though other countries gave permission to fly over theirs,” Barbara Pijanowska-Kuras, a spokeswoman for the airline, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Boeing told Reuters that it is “ready to help if asked” and that LOT has arranged for parts and personnel to address the fault that occurred when the plane was en route to Warsaw from Toronto, and forced the plane to land at Reykjavik's Keflavik airport. 

LOT has demanded that Boeing compensate it for its revenue losses before the end of the year to avoid legal action.

On Saturday, Norwegian Air Shuttle grounded a new 787 Dreamliner, worth $212 million, after less than 30 days in service and asked Boeing to repair the aircraft, although the fault involving a hydraulic pump is reportedly minor.

Budget airline Norwegian Air, which began operating long-distance flights in 2013, aimed to benefit from the Dreamliner’s comparatively low operating cost and 20 percent lesser fuel burn, according to Reuters. However, the airline has had to suspend Dreamliner services several times in the past, due to issues with brakes, hydraulic pumps and power.

The airline, which does not have an aircraft to spare if one is temporarily taken out of service, said, it has to cancel flights and rent planes when its Dreamliners are not in use, while Boeing said the latest glitch could be fixed within days.

“Boeing has identified a number of specific improvements to address component reliability,” Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel said in a statement, according to Reuters. The modifications to the plane's hardware and software are “expected to lead to few schedule interruptions and significantly improve dispatch reliability.”

The recent problems are not linked to the jetliner’s lithium-ion batteries that overheated and prompted the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, to temporarily cancel 787 services worldwide for four months starting on Jan. 16.

Boeing redesigned the battery system, which won FAA approval, before eight worldwide Dreamliner operators resumed flights in April, May and June.

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