Skip to main content

United plans to resume 787 service in May

By Aaron Cooper, CNN
April 9, 2013 -- Updated 1507 GMT (2307 HKT)
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
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0242 GMT (1042 HKT)
Successful launch of lunar orbiter, seen as a precursor for a planned mission to the surface of the moon, marks significant advance for the country's space program.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1915 GMT (0315 HKT)
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 2208 GMT (0608 HKT)
CEO's 30-min Putonghua chat is the perfect charm offensive for Facebook's last untapped market.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2058 GMT (0458 HKT)
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1414 GMT (2214 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1021 GMT (1821 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT