Boeing's Dreamliner problems continue as Japan Airlines (JAL) was forced to divert two of its fleet thanks to electrical problems.
On a flight from Tokyo to San Diego, a plane's anti-ice system -- which prevents the buildup of ice around an engine -- failed. In another, en route from Moscow to Tokyo, an electric glitch rendered six toilets unusable.
A JAL spokesperson said that a similar anti-ice problem caused a flight to be recalled in June this year.
These are the latest problems to impact the Dreamliner craft. In January this year, the European Aviation Safety Agency joined the FAA in grounding the craft due to safety worries. A battery fire required a flight's emergency landing and highlighted a string of problems including fuel leaks, faulty wiring, oil problems and damaged windows. After safety checks and battery compartment redesign, the craft was allowed back in the air -- but the issues have cost Boeing dearly.
JAL recently announced a $9.5 billion deal with Boeing rival Airbus to replace its aging fleet with 31 Airbus A350 jets. After the deal was made public, sources said that Boeing is desperate to secure a contract with the other major Japanese airline, All Nipon Airways (ANA) -- and the situation is dire enough that executives have been told to "do anything" to secure business.
In early October, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Marketing Vice President Randy Tinseth said:
"Today, the reliability of the 787 is better than 95 percent. It’s not as good as we'd like to see it. It's not as good as our customers would like to see it. So we're looking at ways to improve that reliability over time.
I would refer to the problems as teething problems, I don’t think they're systemic."
Image credit: Boeing