Norwegian unconcerned by fresh 787 battery problems

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Norwegian’s chief executive Bjorn Kjos says he is unconcerned by the recent battery problems experienced by Japan Airlines on one of its Boeing 787s and says no contingency plans have been drawn up should his fleet of Dreamliners need to be grounded.

“Even with the 737 now and again you have these battery failures, I don’t think you would have heard this incident if it had not been for the earlier battery problem. But it worked out as it should do, it vented on board and it was during a technical test,” he told Flightglobal during the RunwaysUK conference in London.

“Most people think you need a battery but you don’t actually need these batteries to fly. The only time they are needed is if a rotary blade is destroyed and one of your engines fails cuts off the power to the engine, you don't actually need them to fly.”

His comments come after a single cell of a Japan Airlines 787 lithium-ion battery overheated while the aircraft parked at Tokyo Narita International airport on 14 January.

Last year Norwegian was forced to wet-lease an Airbus A340 after deciding to take its second Boeing 787 out of service to settle recent operational difficulties.

Flightglobal’s Ascend Online Fleets database shows Norwegian operates three 787s.

Kjos says no plans have been drawn up for a similar scenario this time adding “technically having one battery cell overheat is not a problem”.