by Staff Writers
New York (AFP) May 23, 2013
Chinese regulators have approved the Boeing 787 to fly in the country, Boeing said Thursday, a move that opens up a large potential market to the US aerospace giant.
"I can confirm that the Civil Aviation Administration of China has granted type certification for the 787 Dreamliner," a Boeing spokesman said in an email.
Chinese airlines have yet to take delivery of the high-tech 787, which last month was cleared to return to service after all 50 in use worldwide were grounded in mid-January following two overheated battery incidents.
Air China has ordered 15 of the planes, while China Southern Airlines and Hainan Airlines have each ordered 10 planes.
Regulators grounded the planes after a battery fire on a 787 parked at a Boston airport and a smoldering battery on another 787 caused smoke and fumes, forcing an emergency landing.
US officials in April cleared the planes to fly following modifications to the plane's lithium-ion batteries, which include replacing them and their chargers with modified components and installing a steel enclosure system to contain any overheating.
United Airlines, the only US carrier that owns 787s, resumed 787 flights on Monday.
Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA), the single biggest operator of the 787, announced Thursday it would put the Dreamliner back into service on Sunday.
Boeing resumed 787 deliveries after the US Federal Aviation Administration cleared the plane to return to commercial service on April 25 after battery modifications.
Since then, Boeing has delivered two more 787s, bringing total deliveries of the fuel-efficient jetliners to 52 worldwide, a spokeswoman for the Chicago-based company told AFP Thursday.
One 787 was delivered to ANA, boosting its 787 fleet to 18, and another to LOT Polish Airlines, which now has three, she said.
Dow member Boeing shares jumped 1.9 percent to $99.75 Thursday, while the blue-chip index ended the day slightly lower.
Aerospace News at SpaceMart.com
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