Passenger confidence in Boeing Co’s new 787 Dreamliner jet is in jeopardy, Japanese transport minister stated after both Japan and the United States started investigations concerning the aircraft. The inspections come after repeated incidents that have raised safety concerns.
Fuel leaks on a 787 operated by Japan Airlines Co will be investigated by the Japanese authorities, while the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board will analyze the lithium-ion battery and burned wire bundles from a fire at the board of another JAL 787 at Boston’s Logan Airport last week.
The Dreamliner is the first mainly carbon-composite airliner in the world and has been described by Boeing as being the most fuel-efficient jet. However, it has been released only at the end of last year due to production delays, although it was scheduled to enter service in 2008.
Last week, the new model of plane had a series of problems – two fuel leaks, the battery fire, a wiring problem, brake computer glitch and cracked cockpit window.
“Looking at this from the point of view of average citizens, having these sort of incidents occur seemingly day after day, one could become very uneasy,” Transport and Tourism Minister Akihiro Ota said on Tuesday. He did not mention when the results of the investigation will be presented.
“We plan to look into the scale of these accidents and what the overall situation is. We will convey the message to those who operate (the plane) that it is absolutely necessary to be safe,” Ota said.
More than 800 of the planes have been ordered by airlines around the world.