Chinese airlines approve Boeing 787 use
China's aviation regulator has granted Boeing permission to begin 787 aircraft operations in the region.
According to sources close to the matter, Chinese carriers have ordered a total of 35 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, which suggests that trust is beginning to return to the aircraft manufacturer after being grounded in the U.S. and Europe due to safety concerns.
Lithium-ion batteries used to power Dreamliner craft caused a number of accidental fires, prompting a redesign of battery casing and inspections by U.S. regulators. After three months out of commission, Ethiopian Airlines became the first airline to use the jet for commercial service in a flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved Boeing's battery fixes.
Hainan Airlines Co. and China Southern Airlines have ordered ten each.
"The regulator has issued an airworthiness certificate for the aircraft today," a source told the Wall Street Journal. It is expected that the planes will be used to replace ageing aircraft, and will help cope with China's rising demand for air traffic.
International Airlines Group -- owner of British Airways and Spanish carrier Iberia -- has also placed a fresh order for 18 Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
— By Charlie Osborne on May 21, 2013, 5:00 PM