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European regulators ground the Boeing 787 Dreamliner

January 17, 2013|By Henry Chu
  • A Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by United Airlines takes off at Los Angeles International Airport.
A Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by United Airlines takes off at Los Angeles… (David McNew / Getty Images )

LONDON -- European air-safety officials followed their American counterparts’ lead Thursday by grounding Boeing 787 Dreamliner jumbo jets after a series of worrisome incidents aboard the new aircraft.

The European Aviation Safety Agency, or EASA, announced that it was adopting the Federal Aviation Administration's directive, issued Wednesday, ordering all 787s taken out of service. Jeremie Teahan, a spokesman for the EASA, said the action was taken "to ensure the continuing airworthiness of the European fleet."

As a practical matter, the decision by European regulators will affect only two 787s being used by the Polish airline LOT. But the move increases pressure on Boeing, which insists that its new passenger jet is safe but has promised to work with the FAA to resolve any concerns.

Doubts about the 787's safety grew after a fire aboard a plane parked at Boston's Logan International Airport and an emergency landing by an All Nippon Airways flight whose crew reported a strange smell and noticed indications of a problem with a lithium-ion battery.

The FAA's directive was issued less than a week after U.S. transport officials deemed the 787 safe to fly. The agency said that Boeing now had to "address a potential battery fire risk in the 787."

Teahan said the EASA would "carefully monitor the situation and is prepared to provide any support the FAA may require in their investigation."


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