ANA faces bumpy start to long-haul 787 service

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All Nippon Airways first long-haul international service with its Boeing 787 has faced a rocky start since 21 January with two of its ten flights operating between Tokyo-Haneda and Frankfurt, Germany cancelled due to technical issues with the new aircraft, the airline confirmed.

ANA cancelled flight NH204 on 26 January and NH203 30 January. Other 787 flights to Germany operated on 21, 23, 26 and 28 January.

On the days when the 787 is not operating, ANA deploys a 777-200ER to service the route.

The 26 January service was cancelled in Frankfurt when the aircraft's flap system failed, while the 30 January cancellation in Haneda was due to "a temporary failure of the computer software which monitors and controls the aircraft", said ANA, adding "the aircraft has been repaired by replacing the computer's concerned parts and loading software."

To date, five 787s have been delivered by Boeing, all to ANA, though only one has been configured for long-haul operations. JA805A, Airplane 31, with 158-seats was delivered on 30 December and formally entered service with ANA on 14 January on the type's inaugural international scheduled service between Tokyo-Haneda and Beijing, China. JA805A is currently operated exclusively on the Haneda to Frankfurt route.

 ana 787 new livery

 ©ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS

The next 787 service between Haneda and Frankfurt will be 1 February and will be flown as originally scheduled with JA805A, said the airline.

"As a launch customer," said ANA "It is our obligation to work together and fully cooperate with Boeing to make the 787 an even better airplane," embracing its role in taking the brunt of a new aircraft's teething issues.

Just prior to its first 787 delivery to ANA in September 2011, Boeing was reportedly experiencing intermittent erroneous flight control software glitches and was said to be developing a software fix for the problem.

The introduction of the 787 into revenue service on domestic routes has been otherwise smooth for ANA, with the exception of a 6 November malfunction in a landing gear hydraulic valve that prevented the aircraft's main landing gear from extending on the first attempt during an approach to Okayama, Japan.

ANA recently carried its 100,000th passenger on the 787, marking 96.3% on-time reliability with the new aircraft in domestic Japanese operations, compared to an 96.5% ANA group on-time reliability.