Qatar Airways has pulled one of its Boeing 787 Dreamliners out of service following a 'minor' technical issue, as pressure mounted on Boeing over possible new electrical problems with the advanced jet.
It is the latest in a spate of mishaps for the 787, including a fire on an
Ethiopian Airlines-owned 787 earlier this month which caused Heathrow airport to be shut down for an hour and a half while firefighters battled the blaze.
entire fleet of 787s was grounded earlier this year thanks to repeated
faults in the lithium-ion batteries which sometimes led to plane fires.
it was revealed that an oven overheated and caused smoke in an Air
India Dreamliner this week. India's aviation regulator is investigating
the incident, which did not interrupt services.
tracking service Flightaware, the aircraft, registered as A7-BCB, has
not flown since Sunday - an unusually long time for a long-haul jet
designed to save on fuel bills.
Qatar Airways confirmed an aircraft had been taken out of service, but said no flights had been cancelled as a result.
"This is a minor issue for us, and not an incident, so we are not commenting," an airline spokesman said.
failure in a similar bay caused a fire during a test flight in 2010,
and three of the jets, including one owned by Qatar Airways, had
electrical problems last December.
A fire-brigade supervisor in Doha said it did not have any record of an incident with an airport-related call last week.
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing instructed airlines to
inspect or remove the beacons, after UK investigators found two wires
pinched together in the beacon inside the Ethiopian Airlines Dreamliner
The resulting fire caused extensive damage to the plane.
Last December, three 787s had electrical problems that were made public.
Airlines experienced problems with electrical panels on two 787s, one
of which diverted to another airport during a flight from Houston.
Airways said that month that it grounded one of its 787 jets because of
the same problem United had experienced. Boeing later traced the
problem to faulty circuit boards in the panel.
In January, regulators grounded the global fleet of 50 Dreamliners after batteries burned on two jets within two weeks.
Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said in May that the airline had
to forego $200million in lost profit because of the grounding of 787
planes, but has received compensation from Boeing for the losses.
At least one other airline says it is still seeking compensation.
Aviation experts say it is common for
the reported number of incidents to rise when an aircraft is in the
spotlight, and that all new aircraft models have incidents when they
first enter service. The 787 went into service in the autumn of 2011.
Even aircraft with decades of service regularly suffer glitches that go unreported and rarely pose a direct threat to safety.
aviation experts say U.S. and British authorities investigating the
previous fires may try to establish whether anything can be learned from
a pattern of reported incidents connected in various ways to the jet's