Ethiopian Airlines, the first carrier in Africa to fly the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, has decided to temporarily pull its B787 fleet out of service for precautionary inspection, following the directive of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The US FAA issued a directive on January 16, 2013 that mandates operators to perform special inspection requirements on the Dreamliner battery system in accordance with a method approved by it. This directive was issued following recent incidents that occurred on Dreamliner airplanes operated by two other airlines.
Ethiopian Dreamliners have not encountered the type of problems such as those experienced by the other operators. However, as an extra precautionary safety measure and in line with its commitment of putting safety above all else, Ethiopian has decided to pull out its four Dreamliners from operation and perform the special inspection requirements mandated by the US FAA.
The airline has been operating the Dreamliner since mid-August 2012. Ethiopian Dreamliners have been performing well in the five months service logging record-length non-stop flights and record-high daily aircraft utilization in the industry. Since it first received the Dreamliner, Ethiopian has logged 5560 flight hours with average daily aircraft utilization of 14 hours.
Ethiopian is working closely with Boeing to comply with the US FAA approved special inspection procedure on the battery system and perform the maintenance as per the directive. The airline aims to return the Dreamliners to service as soon as possible, after full compliance with the new procedure.