Full Boeing Lithium-ion Battery History to Be Provided to US Transport Safety

U.S. transport safety regulators have asked Boeing Co. to provide a full operating history of the lithium-ion batteries used in its grounded 787 Dreamliners.

The National Transportation Safety Board said in a statement it made the request after recently becoming aware of battery incidents that occurred before a Jan. 7 battery fire in a 787 parked at Boston’s Logan International Airport.

All Nippon Airways said Wednesday it had replaced batteries on its 787 aircraft some 10 times because they failed to charge properly or showed other problems, and informed Boeing about the swaps.

All 50 of the Boeing 787s in use around the world were grounded after an ANA flight on Jan. 16 made an emergency landing in Japan when its main battery overheated.

JAL and ANA ground Boeing 787 Fleets

All Nippon Airways (ANA) and its rival Japan Airlines (JAL), the two biggest carriers in Japan, have both announced the grounding of their entire Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleets following Wednesday morning’s emergency landing at the Takamatsu airport in Kagawa Prefecture. Five day’s worth of malfunctions and problems with the new aircraft has now continued into a second week with a Tokyo-bound ANA flight landing after smoke was seen in the cockpit.

ANA and JAL are among Boeing’s most important customers, having placed a combined total of 111 of the new 787 Dreamliners. Following the news of Wednesday’s incident, both airlines announced they were taking the airplanes out of operation for safety inspections. ANA currently has 17 in operation, while JAL has seven. Spokesmen from ANA haven’t commented about the sightings of smoke, but they said a problem with the battery system resulted in an error message displayed in the cockpit. While the passengers and crew had to use the emergency exit chutes after the plane landed, none of the 138 people on board were injured.

ANA has said it is “aware” of the troubling series of incidents involving the Boeing 787 over the last week, but adds that it is not ready to comment about the emergency landing or if today’s malfunction is related to any previous problems. While some of the other issues have been relatively minor, such as a cracked windshield or a leaking fuel valve, the others have included a malfunctioning brake system and, even more alarming, a fire breaking out in the battery compartment just after a JAL flight landed in Boston. Flight regulators in both the U.S. and Japan are launching their own investigations, spurred by a growing concern from travelers.


Japan’s All Nippon Airways Grounds Dreamliners

Japan’s All Nippon Airways said on Monday it grounded part of its fleet of 787 Dreamliners after tests revealed a risk of engine corrosion, but Boeing Co, the aircraft’s manufacturer, said it does not expect the timing of deliveries of the jetliner to be affected.

The engines on the ANA planes, Trent 1000s, were supplied by Rolls-Royce, which said it was replacing a component on a number of its engines.

ANA, the launch customer for the 787, the world’s first passenger jet built mainly from lightweight carbon fiber, said the action stemmed from a flawed process that could leave part of its UK-manufactured engines vulnerable to early corrosion.

The airline grounded five of its 11 Dreamliners, but three of the twinjet airplanes have been fixed and are flying again. The other two are waiting for parts from Rolls-Royce and could be out of action for a few weeks, an ANA spokesman said.

Read the rest of the story: Japan’s All Nippon Airways Grounds Dreamliners, Citing Engine Corrosion Risk.

AirAsia-ANA win approval for budget carrier in Japan

Southeast Asias largest budget carrier AirAsia Friday said its joint venture entity AirAsia Japan has won approval from Japanese authorities to begin commercial flights.

Malaysias AirAsia and Japans All Nippon Airways last year announced they had formed a joint venture to establish a low-cost airline that will be based in Tokyo.

AirAsia said it expects to launch commercial flights to international and domestic destinations in August.

Read the rest of the story: AirAsia-ANA win approval for budget carrier in Japan.

World’s first Dreamliner now flying in Japan, All Nippon Airways 787

Boeing and All Nippon Airways celebrated on Monday the long-awaited delivery of the world’s first 787 Dreamliner airplane to the Japanese airline.

More than three years behind schedule due to production and design problems, Boeing touts its all-new 787 Dreamliner as a game changer for the aviation industry.

The Chicago-based firm says the mid-sized, long-haul plane, half of it built with lightweight composite materials, consumes 20 per cent less fuel than comparable planes its size.

It is the first mid-sized airplane capable of flying long-range routes, responding to passengers’ demands for non-stop travel, Boeing says.

Read the rest of the story: World’s first Dreamliner now flying in Japan.

Can Japan Succeed with Planes as It Did with Cars?

A year from now a 70-90 passenger commercial airliner, called the MRJ (for Mitsubishi Regional Jet), produced by Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation in Nagoya, will begin flying in Japan and Indonesia.

During this week, at the Paris Air Show, Mitsubishi Aircraft and Boeing Corp. signed an agreement under which Boeing ground crews will provide maintenance support for MRJ aircraft on a global basis.

Read the rest of the story: Can Japan Succeed in Planes as It Did in Cars?.

ANA pleads guilty to price fixing, agrees to pay $73 million fine

Japan’s No.2 airline All Nippon Airways Co Ltd (ANA) has pleaded guilty to two separate charges of price fixing and has agreed to pay $73 million as criminal fine.

According to the Department of Justice, ANA had engaged in a conspiracy to fix one or more components of cargo rates charged for international air cargo shipments from at least as early as April 1, 2000, until at least February 14, 2006.

ANA was also charged with engaging in a conspiracy to fix unpublished passenger fares on tickets purchased in the United States from at least as early as April 1, 2000, until at least April 1, 2004.

According to the two-count felony charge filed on November 1 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, ANA had carried out the conspiracies by agreeing during meetings and other communications to fix certain components of the cargo rates to be charged for shipments on routes between the United States and Japan, and on unpublished passenger fares to be charged on tickets purchased in the United States. As part of the conspiracies, ANA levied cargo rates and unpublished passenger fares in accordance with the agreements reached, and monitored and enforced adherence to the agreed-upon cargo rates and unpublished passenger fares.

Read the rest of the story: ANA pleads guilty to price fixing, agrees to pay $73 million fine.