29 APRIL 2013
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Ethiopian Airlines has made a habit of being first with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. It was the first African airline to take delivery of the aircraft, the first to make scheduled flight into Heathrow, and now is the first airline to put the plane back into service after the three month grounding.
With the new fire protected lithium-ion batteries fitted Ethiopian replaced the planned aircraft with 787 for the Addis Ababa to Nairobi route last Saturday (27 April). On board was Boeing Vice President Marketing Randy Randy Tinseth, the press and fare paying passengers. Everyone seemed happy with the flight.
Boeing says that it will begin to deliver new fully certificated Dreamliners during May and together with customer airlines, will endeavour to put back into the air the balance of the grounded fleet of 50 aircraft.
The grounding has said to have cost Boeing an estimated US$600m, halted deliveries and forced some airlines to lease alternative aircraft. Several customers have said they will seek compensation from Boeing, potentially adding to the plane maker’s losses. However the Chicago-based company was able to post a net income rise of 20% to US$1.11bn in the first quarter despite its troubles. www.boeing.com/commerical
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