Boeing's 787 Dreamliner faces no immediate threat of grounding as investigators continue a probe into last week's fire aboard a plane operated by Ethiopian Airlines Enterprise, Europe's top aviation safety body said.
"It's too early to say if the aircraft could be grounded," Dominique Fouda, a spokesman for the European Aviation Safety Agency (Easa), said. Easa is providing advice to the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch that's leading the probe into the July 12 incident in London.
Dreamliner operators spanning ANA Holdings, the jet's first customer, to United Continental Holdings have continued regular services as investigators seek to establish the cause of the fire at Heathrow airport. Honeywell International, maker of an emergency beacon situated close the site of the blaze, said yesterday it was assisting in the inquiry, as are Boeing, US safety experts and Ethiopian Airlines, which continues to operate its other 787s.
"We are prepared to take action in our area of responsibility in case it is demonstrated that there is an unsafe condition, which is not the case so far," Easa's Mr Fouda said. "It is too early to draw any conclusion."
Boeing is working to revive the reputation of the 787, grounded worldwide earlier this year after lithium-ion batteries overheated on two aircraft.
The AAIB said July 13 that an initial review showed no link between the fire and the earlier grounding.
* Bloomberg News