LOT 787s to be fixed in Ethiopia as flights resume

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Polish flag-carrier LOT is preparing to send two Boeing 787s to Ethiopia for battery modification, as carriers begin resuming commercial services with the type.

Ethiopian Airlines conducted the first passenger flight since the mid-January grounding when one of its 787s operated from Addis Ababa to Nairobi as flight ET801 on 27 April.

Among those on board was Boeing vice-president of marketing Randy Tinseth, who said that many passengers "had no idea they'd be flying on the 787 until the bus dropped them off at the air stairs".

Tinseth added that the flight departed on time, arrived early, and was "truly perfect".

Ethiopian's base at Addis Ababa will be the location to which both LOT 787s will be sent - one from Warsaw and one from Chicago - to undergo the modification designed to address thermal problems with the type's battery which resulted in the three-month grounding.

LOT confirms that the aircraft will be flown to Ethiopia but declines to comment on when they will depart. The airline says, however, that it will restore 787 services on 5 June.

Ethiopian has four 787s which will similarly undergo the modification work. "We are excited to resume our service with the [787]," says chief executive Tewolde Gebremariam.

"During the five months our four [aircraft] were in service, we were very pleased with their performance, and the feedback from our passengers has been overwhelmingly positive."