problems with the 787 Dreamliner, Boeing’s dream jet, have turned air travel into
a nightmare for many passengers, as aviation authorities around the world ground
their Dreamliner aircraft, a total of 50 planes.
decision came after a Japanese All Nippon Airlines 787 flight was forced to make an emergency
landing and evacuation yesterday. An aircraft alarm indicated smoke in the
plane’s electrical component and passengers reported a burning smell. Hours
after the emergency landing at Takamatsu airport, both of Japan’s national
airlines – All Nippon Airlines
and Japan Airlines – announced they were
grounding their combined 24 Dreamliners pending an investigation.
This is the
latest in a spate of mechanical issues that have plagued Boeing’s most
touted airliner since July 2012, with the most high-profile failures occurring
in the past week, including a fuel leak, an oil leak, two cracked engines, a
damaged cockpit window and a battery problem. Since then, authorities in the US, Europe,
India, Ethiopia, Chile and Qatar have halted
operation of their Dreamliners.
This decision could potentially leave tens of thousands of passengers
stranded. The 210- to 290-seat planes are typically used for high-capacity
flights, affecting many passengers on cross-country or cross-global flights,
some of which were booked months in advance. Passengers booked on Dreamliners
can expect to face days-long delays, modified itineraries and crowded flights as
airlines work to make alternative arrangements, including shifting passengers to
other carriers and even other airports.
unclear when Dreamliners will be reinstated, but the Federal Aviation Authority
has cautioned that Boeing must prove their batteries are safe before the 787
resumes service – a process which could take days or weeks.