Airlines to buy Boeing 787s despite fire
Investigators say no evidence of link to batteries
The fire on an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 at Heathrow Airport in London and a separate technical problem on a second 787 owned by Britain’s Thomson Airways on Friday raised new questions about an aircraft seen as crucial to Boeing’s future. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Airlines expressed confidence in the safety of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner yesterday as investigators searched for the cause of a fire on one of the jets and billions were wiped off the company’s market value.
British officials said initial checks into what they called a serious incident appeared to rule out any link to the battery-related problems that grounded the Dreamliner fleet for three months earlier this year.
The fire on the Ethiopian Airlines plane at Heathrow Airport in London and a separate technical problem on a second 787 owned by Britain’s Thomson Airways on Friday raised new questions about an aircraft seen as crucial to Boeing’s future.
No one was injured in the fire on the empty Ethiopian Airlines plane. However, it closed Britain’s busiest airport for 90 minutes.
Boeing shares closed down 4.7 percent at $101.87 (€77.93) on Friday after the Heathrow fire, knocking $3.8 billion off the company’s market capitalisation.
Virgin Atlantic said it remained committed to taking delivery of 16 of the planes from the autumn of 2014. Polish flag carrier LOT, the first European airline to take delivery of the 787 last year, said it was in constant contact with Boeing.