Skip to main content

Boeing Dreamliner takes flight in Japan for first time in months

From Yoko Wakatusi, CNN
April 29, 2013 -- Updated 1020 GMT (1820 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Boeing: We will work with customers to return more 787s to flight in coming weeks
  • The All Nippon test flight took off from Tokyo's Haneda Airport, airline officials say
  • A Boeing executive is among those aboard, but commercial passengers were not
  • U.S. aviation authorities outlined steps recently to the Dreamliner's battery system

Tokyo (CNN) -- A Boeing 787 Dreamliner took off Sunday from a Tokyo airport, the first such flight in Japan since safety issues grounded the Dreamliner fleet, officials told CNN.

Japan had authorized passenger airlines to resume flying the embattled aircraft in the country starting Friday, authorities said.

The first test flight in Japan was Sunday, All Nippon Airways officials said.

It left Tokyo's Haneda Airport on Sunday morning with a team of All Nippon engineers, that airline's chairman, Shinichiro Ito, and Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner. The plane landed about two hours later without incident, Boeing said.

"With the successful completion of today's flight, Boeing will continue to work closely with airline customers in Japan and other countries on ... modification work to safely return additional 787s to flight in the coming weeks," Boeing said in a statement.

Dreamliner doesn't stop Boeing growth
The Dreamliner can do THAT?

The flight marked a milestone in Japan, but the plane wasn't the first Dreamliner to take flight since the problems first surfaced. Ethiopian Airlines flew passengers from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Kenya, on Saturday.

Boeing Dreamliner back in skies

Nearly 50 Dreamliners around the world have been grounded for more than three months, after two incidents on jets operated by Japanese airlines called the battery systems into question.

Officials later pointed to faulty battery systems in recommending the planes be grounded.

Last week, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration cleared Boeing to make fixes to the problematic battery system. Boeing said it was deploying teams to help the airlines install the redesigned system.

In an online posting Thursday, the FAA outlined the modifications necessary for the Dreamliner to fly again.

By the next day, All Nippon and Japan Airlines -- the world's two largest Dreamliner operators -- had already begun installing modified lithium ion batteries on their 787 jets.

The Dreamliner's use of lightweight composite materials to greatly improve fuel economy has made it a big seller in Asia and the Middle East, where long-haul flights account for much of an airline's business.

Dreamliners inching toward the runway

CNN's Greg Botelho and Aaron Cooper contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Brazil's oldest foe secures its place in the World Cup final for the first time in more than two decades after defeating the Netherlands on penalties.
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 1423 GMT (2223 HKT)
Israel has deployed its Iron Dome defense system to halt incoming rockets. Here's how it works.
A high speed train leaves Beijing south railway station on August 11, 2011.
How Beijing built the world's largest high-speed rail network in less than a decade.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
CNN's Becky Anderson looks at how practicing underwater is the perfect way to prepare for spacewalks.
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 0917 GMT (1717 HKT)
An emotional Brazil fan reacts after being defeated by Germany 7-1 during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Semi Final match between Brazil and Germany at Estadio Mineirao on July 8, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Spectacular Germany outplays Brazil to reach the World Cup final with a 7-1 win over the hosts.
Even those who aren't in the line of fire feel the effects of the chaos that has engulfed Iraq since extremists attacked.
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 0641 GMT (1441 HKT)
CNN's Jim Bittermann takes a look at a family who found the remains of their great- grandfather 100 years later.
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 0008 GMT (0808 HKT)
Israelis and Palestinians have entered another yet violent cycle of reaction and counterreaction. Here are five things to keep in mind.
July 7, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
Traveling to the U.S.? You could be delayed if your electronic device has a dead battery.
July 8, 2014 -- Updated 2157 GMT (0557 HKT)
With one hand, Zahra Hassan clutches a purse that matches her red blouse and skirt trimmed in blue. In the other, she holds an AK-47.
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