After lithium-ion batteries caused a small fire in a 787 parked on the ground in Boston on January 7th, and then forced another of the planes to make an emergency landing in Japan on Wednesday when pilots smelled smoke in the cockpit, regulators around the world have grounded Boeing’s newest widebody jet. Europe, India and Japan grounded 787s on Thursday following the U.S. FAA’s grounding of the planes on Wednesday. The groundings will effect United Airlines, Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, Air India, Chile’s LAN Airlines, Poland’s LOT Airlines, and Qatar Airlines.
Boeing says costs to fix the Dreamliner will hurt margins on a program. According to experts, the learning curve and additional sales will be critical in achieving the right return for the aircraft. In the meantime, Boeing’s biggest competitor Airbus could stand to reap the rewards of the 787’s recent deficiencies, and canceled orders for Boeing will send waves throughout its supply chain, which could spell bad news for U.S.-based employers.
Do you think regulators are jumping to conclusions by grounding the entire fleet after just two incidents? Would you fly on a Dreamliner after the recent news?
George Ferguson, Senior Airlines Analyst at Bloomberg Industries