All Nippon Airways, the biggest customer for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, will put its pilots through training to resume flights in June, sources said, after Boeing completed more than half of its tests to get its new battery system certified.
ANA is also likely to use the 787 initially for cargo flights once the new battery system is installed, to reassure the public about safety before restarting passenger flights, one of the sources said.Regulators grounded all 50 787s in use by airlines worldwide in mid-January after lithium-ion batteries overheated on two aircraft -- a Japan Airlines jet parked at Boston's Logan airport and on an ANA flight in Japan. ANA operates 17 of the carbon-composite jets and has cancelled more than 3,600 flights up to the end of May.Anticipating regulatory clearance, ANA will put its 200 787 pilots through flight resumption simulator training so that they will be ready to fly the jets again in June, the sources with knowledge of ANA's operations said.Since the 787 was grounded, the pilots have been undergoing simulator training every month, but their next training will be specifically for flight resumption, the sources said. The training will start around mid-April, one of the sources said."The company is making as many assumptions as it can and is preparing based on them. In order to resume flights from June, it needs all 200 of the pilots ready to be flying by then," a source said.The sources declined to be identified because they were not authorised to speak publicly about the matter.Without having found the cause of the battery incidents in January, Boeing last month unveiled a new battery system and predicted the 787 could be back in the air within weeks, which drew scepticism from some experts and regulators.ANA said last week that it was including 787s in its June flight schedules."It's not that we have decided to resume flights, but rather that we have not decided on cancelling flights," spokesman Ryosei Nomura said.He added that he had not heard anything about the flight resumption simulator training.Source: Reuters
Gravity always wins!