Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital Business
Capital Business
A newly delivered All Nippon Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner is seen at Tokyo's Haneda airport in Tokyo, May 30, 2013/AFP

World

JAL Dreamliner flight forced back to Boston

A newly delivered All Nippon Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner is seen at Tokyo's Haneda airport in Tokyo, May 30, 2013/AFP

A newly delivered All Nippon Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner is seen at Tokyo’s Haneda airport in Tokyo, May 30, 2013/AFP

TOKYO, Jul 19 – A Japan Airlines Boeing 787 bound for Tokyo was forced to return to Boston on Thursday due to a possible pump problem, the carrier said, as it dismissed concerns of a new crisis for the plane after a fire in London.

The fuel-efficient Dreamliner aircraft resumed flying after a months-long grounding for serious battery problems, and analysts warn that the mounting list of mishaps could have a psychological impact on wary fliers.

Last Friday, a 787 flown by Ethiopian Airlines caught fire at London’s Heathrow airport. No one was aboard the parked plane at the time of the incident.

British authorities have since recommended that distress beacons on board all Boeing Dreamliners be disabled, after identifying the devices as the likely cause of the fire pending further investigation.

The Japan Airlines (JAL) plane left from Boston’s Logan Airport at 12:57pm (1657 GMT) on Thursday, but returned around 6pm.

“As a standard precautionary measure due to a maintenance message (fuel pump) indicator, JL007 bound for Tokyo-Narita decided to return to Boston Logan for check and landed safely,” Carol Anderson, a US-based JAL spokeswoman, told AFP in an email.

JAL officials in Tokyo confirmed the maintenance message but dismissed concerns that the return might signal a new problem for the plane.

“We decided to return as a precaution… as a message showing a malfunction of a fuel pump at the right engine appeared in the cockpit,” said a JAL spokesman.

Even if the pump was faulty, there was no safety risk as the engine has a back-up mechanism, he said.

“There’s no emergency at all in this case. We just wanted to be on the safe side,” he said, adding that “this has nothing to do with the battery system”.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The US Federal Aviation Administration said the pilot did not declare an emergency as he returned to Boston.

JAL and rival All Nippon Airways (ANA), the Dreamliner’s biggest customers, have experienced a growing list of minor complaints with the 787 since it was allowed to resume flying.

Makiko Nakagawa, aviation analyst at Fukoku Capital Management, warned that the mishaps could exacerbate concern among passengers.

“The recent troubles are not significant enough to lead to a major blow such as suspending operations, but the psychological impact is not so small,” she told AFP.

“That’s partially because media coverage of the Dreamliner has been quite extensive.”

JAL shares fell 0.93 percent to 5,320 yen by the morning break Friday, while ANA clawed back earlier losses to finish the session flat at 219 yen, as the benchmark Nikkei 225 index slumped 1.09 percent.

“Although there is nothing that suggests another temporary halt of Dreamliner operations at this point, the series of accidents may yet spark concerns over a possible link,” Naoki Fujiwara, fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management, told Dow Jones Newswires.

All 50 Boeing 787s in service were grounded in mid-January after a battery fire on one plane parked at the Boston airport. In a separate incident, smoke from a battery aboard an ANA flight in Japan forced an emergency landing.

After months of investigation, US authorities in April formally approved Boeing’s battery fix and Japanese regulators followed suit, allowing the Dreamliner to return to the skies.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The plane’s Japanese battery supplier, GS Yuasa, has voiced confidence about the fixed system.

“Similar problems will never happen again,” GS Yuasa president Makoto Yoda told the Asahi newspaper in an interview published Thursday.

GS Yuasa shares were down 2.26 percent to 432 yen on Friday morning.

Click to comment
Advertisement

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Headlines

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...

Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...

Ask Kirubi

It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the whole world by surprise. Although its full impact is yet to be...