Skip to main content

United plans to resume 787 service in May

By Aaron Cooper, CNN
updated 11:07 AM EDT, Tue April 9, 2013
A 787 Dreamliner passenger jet is tested above the Boeing factory at Paine Field in Everett, Washington state on March 20, 2011.
A 787 Dreamliner passenger jet is tested above the Boeing factory at Paine Field in Everett, Washington state on March 20, 2011.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • United Airlines is only U.S. carrier that flies the 787; 50 in service worldwide
  • The 787 was grounded in January after two battery fires in Boston and Japan
  • The Federal Aviation Administration must still sign off on Boeing's battery redesign

Washington (CNN) -- United Airlines plans to resume flying the 787 Dreamliner in May, the carrier told CNN in anticipation of regulatory approval of Boeing's remedy for battery problems that forced the jetliner's worldwide grounding.

While United is the only U.S. carrier that flies the wide body, a signal from the world's biggest carrier indicates that others are also likely making plans to resume service in coming weeks.

For the first time in months, it also indicates a clear time line for Boeing to return the aggressively promoted but troubled jetliner to the skies after it was grounded by regulatory authorities globally in January.

United said it plans to start flying 787 again on May 31.

Final battery test on Dreamliner 'straightforward'

The Dreamliner can do THAT?
Boeing: Dreamliner to fly within weeks
Dreamliner, A380: Headaches?

"We are in the process of formulating our domestic flying plans and will be making additional schedule changes as we gain visibility to the time line for certification and modification work," Christen David, an airline spokeswoman said.

United said it will fly the plane on both domestic and international routes.

Boeing modified the 787's lithium-ion battery system after fires in Boston and in Japan prompted aviation authorities globally to ground it. It completed new test flights last week.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will review the test data and must sign off on the redesign.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has said the Dreamliner will not be allowed back in service until Boeing proves the new design is safe.

Boeing has placed a huge bet on the lightweight, mostly carbon-composite jetliner.

Only 50 Dreamliners were flying worldwide at the time of its grounding, but the world's largest aircraft manufacturer has orders for several hundred in the pipeline.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 1:20 PM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
The beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley by ISIS militants brings into focus the risks faced by reporters in conflict zones.
updated 8:24 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
About $35,000 was taken from the bank accounts of four passengers on board Flight 370.
updated 9:53 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
Five survivors of acid attacks capture India's attention with a "ground breaking" photo shoot.
updated 1:32 PM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
The execution of a journalist by a British-accented jihadist is a direct challenge to the international community. It's time for the U.S. to move, writes Frida Ghitis.
updated 8:19 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
In an exclusive CNN interview, Lance Armstrong admits to having a "f**k you" attitude.
updated 4:58 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
Summer isn't over yet. These new hotels are keeping it alive and fresh.
updated 11:35 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
You've seen her turn on the catwalk, but her income might make your head spin.
updated 8:36 PM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
The pain that Michael Brown's parents are going through is something Sybrina Fulton can relate to. She, too, lost a son in a controversial shooting.
updated 5:04 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
19-year-old Udi Segal explains why he won't join the country's military.
Drinkers guzzled an incredible 10.3 billion liters of this brand in 2013, making it the world's No.1 beer. And you may have never heard of it.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT