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 10:39 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Tethered to an IV drip, 71-year-old Shin Young Ja lies under a thin fleece blanket, nursing a broken back and wracked with survivor's guilt.
updated 7:23 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Family members of the missing passengers are pinning slim hopes on floundering air pockets.
updated 12:14 PM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
An Iranian mother slaps and then forgives her 17-year old son's murderer in dramatic scenes at the gallows.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests or political reform are still censored in China.
updated 5:34 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
The Hadza are one of the last communities of hunter-gatherers in the world -- but losing their land.
updated 1:00 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
In choosing to change a traditional practice, Francis is being as radical as Jesus was in his own time.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Too weak. Can't handle pressure. Unattractive to sponsors. Susie Wolff has heard it all.
updated 6:28 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
It's like finding a needle in a universe-wide haystack. Researchers have located a planet roughly the size of Earth that could be habitable.
updated 5:40 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Dubai, long champion of all things biggest, longest and most expensive, will soon have some competition from a neighboring country.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT