ANA grounds 787 fleet after emergency landing

Singapore
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All Nippon Airways (ANA) has grounded its fleet of 17 Boeing 787-8s after one of its aircraft made an emergency landing on Wednesday morning, 16 January 2013, because of a battery problem.

"We decided to ground the aircraft and do maintenance checks for all the 787s," says an ANA spokesman.

He adds that the grounding will result in the cancellation of some flights, while other aircraft will be used to operate the rest.

The aircraft, registration JA804A, had to make an emergency landing at Japan's Takamatsu airport after pilots observed an error message related to "battery malfunction", he adds.

The Japanese carrier is still trying to identify where the problematic battery is located, and could not confirm whether smoke was observed in the aircraft's cabin, as reported by the local media.

When contacted, Boeing said: "We are aware of the event and are working with our customer."

The aircraft in question, delivered to ANA in January 2012, was operating flight 692 on the Yamaguchi Ube to Tokyo Haneda route. All 129 passengers and eight crew onboard had to be evacuated via inflatable slides at the Takamatsu airport.

The incident comes just a week after a Japan Airlines 787 suffered severe fire damage after a lithium-ion battery for the auxiliary power unit exploded while the aircraft was parked at Boston's Logan airport. This led the US Federal Aviation Administration to announce a review of the 787 programme on 11 January.

ANA has a further 19 787-8s and 30 787-9s on order.