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
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Sat July 26, 2014
The reported firing of artillery from Russian territory is a sign Vladimir Putin has escalated the Ukraine battle, says CNN's military analyst Rick Francona.
updated 4:46 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
The young boy stops, stares, throws ammunition casings at the reporter's feet without a word.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
A picture taken on June 28, 2014 shows a member of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) putting on protective gear at the isolation ward of the Donka Hospital in Conakry, where people infected with the Ebola virus are being treated. The World Health Organization has warned that Ebola could spread beyond hard-hit Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to neighbouring nations, but insisted that travel bans were not the answer.
The worst ebola outbreak in history spreads out of control in West Africa. CNN's Michael Holmes reports.
updated 8:48 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
updated 4:06 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
ITN's Dan Rivers reports from the hospital where those injured by an attack in Gaza were being treated.
updated 9:03 AM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
updated 4:04 AM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
When the Costa Concordia and its salvage convoy finally depart Giglio, the residents will breathe a sigh of relief -- and shed a tear.
updated 2:08 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Flight attendants are wearing black ribbons to show solidarity with fallen colleagues in "a tribute to those who never made it home."
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