Ethiopian 787 damaged in fire to fly before Christmas

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Ethiopian Airlines expects to have completed by Christmas the repair of a Boeing 787 damaged in a fire incident at London Heathrow airport in July.

The aircraft (ET-AOP) is to be used for a flight from Heathrow around 22 December, the carrier’s chief executive Tewolde Gebremariam told Flightglobal during a meeting of the heads of Star Alliance’s member airlines in Vienna.

Boeing has been working on repair of the General Electric GEnx-powered aircraft since September, in partnership with Ethiopian’s engineers, on a remote stand near Heathrow’s cargo facilities on the southern side of the airport.

A temporary tent structure was erected around the fuselage and the aircraft’s vertical stabiliser was removed. The fin has since been reinstalled and the tent taken down.

The manufacturer cut out the damaged fuselage area and replaced it with a composite section that was bolted to the airframe.

The aircraft had sustained substantial damage to its upper rear fuselage when it caught fire on 12 July while parked on a remote stand at Heathrow.