The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) CEO, Ray Conner, had a meeting with Japanese officials on Thursday. In the meeting with the transport minister and other officials in Tokyo, the CEO explained how his company plans to combat the problems with the 787 Dreamliner’s lithium-ion batteries.
“I just want to reiterate that the 787 is still the game-changing aircraft it is meant to be,” Conner told reporters. “It is not an interim solution. This is a permanent solution,” Conner said. “We are very hopeful that we will get the aircraft back in the air very soon.”
The Japanese officials included Akihiro Ota, head of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and the director general of the Civil Aviation Bureau. Earlier, the CEO met the officials from ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS CO., LTD. (TYO:9202), the first customer of Boeing’s 787 with 17 planes. Whether or not Conner met the executives of Japan Airlines Co Ltd (TYO:9201) could not be confirmed.
Last week, the plan presented to US regulators included an idea for revamping batteries, which will prevent other batteries from potential short-circuiting.
Conner said the proposal take into consideration all “possible events.” “It is not an interim solution. This is a permanent solution,” the Kyodo News Service quoted him as saying. “We are very hopeful that we will get the aircraft back in the air very soon.”
US officials revealed that The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) plans to apply more strong ceramic insulation around each of the battery’s eight cells to prevent it from overheating. This will prevent the thermal runaway, a reaction resulting in comparatively higher temperature, found in the damaged batteries of JAL and ANA. However, the plan is still under consideration of US Federal Aviation Administration.
The new models from Boeing have been grounded worldwide after several incidents of overheating were reported. On Jan 16th, ANA 787 domestic flight was forced to make an emergency landing after it reported overheating problems. A fire was reported in an auxiliary power unit battery of a JAL 787, on Jan. 7, half-hour after the plane landed at Boston’s Logan International Airport.
The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) has already delivered 50 Dreamliners worldwide, and holds an order for 800 more airliners. ANA has stretched the cancellations of its flights till May 31, while JAL has extended the cancellations till March 30.