All Nippon Airways schedules second 787 proving flight

Singapore
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All Nippon Airways (ANA) has scheduled a second proving flight for its 787s for 1 May, after the first took place on 28 April without any incident, more than three months after the aircraft type was grounded.

The aircraft, with registration JA810A, took off from Tokyo's Haneda airport at 08:59 local time on 28 April, with ANA president Shinichiro Ito and Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief executive Ray Conner on board. It returned to the airport at 10:54 local time without any incident.

ANA says two aircraft from its fleet of 17 787s have since been modified. These include replacing batteries and chargers with modified components and the installation of new containment and venting systems for the main and auxiliary lithium-ion batteries.

"Every 787 in ANA's fleet will undergo a proving flight upon completion of the battery improvement work," ANA said in a statement. It added that a sample of batteries will also be removed for inspection to verify the effectiveness of the improvements after the batteries have been "in use for a specified period of time".

Battery monitoring systems will also be installed on all 787s to monitor battery performance, says ANA.

Japan Airlines (JAL) meanwhile says that three of its 787s have been modified, and that proving flights are expected to commence in early May.

Both carriers are targeting to return their 787s to commercial services by June, with ANA saying that the aircraft could even be put back in service in May - likely on domestic services first.

Both Japanese carriers expect modification works on their 787s to be completed by mid-May.

The Japan Civil Aviation Bureau issued a revised technical circular directive on 26 April, lifting the grounding of the Japanese 787 fleet, shortly after the US Federal Aviation Administration issued a similar order.

Ethiopian Airlines became the first carrier to resume the flying of the 787, on 27 April, with a commercial flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi.

The FAA ordered the grounding of the 787 on 16 January, after a second lithium-ion battery on board the aircraft type overheated in less than a 10-day period.

Flightglobal Pro data shows that ANA has received 17 787-8s, with an additional 19 -8s and 30 787-9s on order. JAL, meanwhile, has seven -8s in its fleet, with an additional 18 -8s and 20 787-9s on order.