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Air India grounds all six Dreamliners after US decision

New Delhi, Jan 17, 2013, (Reuters)
April 27, 2012 file photo shows one of the Air India 787 Dreamliners on the production floor at Boeing's new production facilities in North Charleston, South Carolina. The Federal Aviation Administration grounded all US-registered Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft January 16, 2013 to conduct a safety review. 'Before further flight, operators of US-registered, Boeing 787 aircraft must demonstrate to the Federal Aviation Administration that the batteries are safe,' the regulator said in a statement. AFP PHOTO

India has grounded all six of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft operated by state-owned carrier Air India after the same decision was made by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, the Indian aviation regulator said on Thursday.

"The FAA has issued an advisory to ground the Dreamliners. We took a decision after that," Director General of Civil Aviation Arun Mishra told Reuters.

"As of now there is no clarity on when the Dreamliners will be back in service. Boeing has to satisfy everyone with safety standards."

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Wednesday it would temporarily ground Boeing's newest commercial airliner and insisted airlines would have to demonstrate the lithium ion batteries were safe before they could resume flying. It gave no details on when that might happen.

It is the first such action against a U.S.-made passenger plane since the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 was grounded in 1979 after a deadly crash in Chicago, analysts said.

The decision by the US came a day after Japan's two leading airlines grounded their fleets of Boeing 787s after one of the Dreamliner passenger jets made an emergency landing.

All Nippon Airways Co said it was grounding all 17 of its 787s and Japan Airlines Co said it suspended all 787 flights scheduled for Wednesday. ANA said its planes could be back in the air as soon as Thursday once checks were completed. The two carriers operate around half of the 50 Dreamliners delivered by Boeing to date.

The 787, which has a list price of $207 million, represents a leap in the way planes are designed and built, but the project has been plagued by cost overruns and years of delays. Some have suggested Boeing's rush to get planes built after those delays resulted in the recent problems, a charge the company denies.


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