United postpones Denver-Tokyo launch again

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United Airlines has postponed the launch of its planned flight between Denver and Tokyo Narita to 10 June, as the Boeing 787 grounding continues.

The Chicago-based carrier planned to begin the flight on 12 May after delaying the launch from 31 March, in February. It will operate once daily and be flown on a 787.

"We are committed to the Denver-Tokyo service, and we will launch the route after the 787 fleet re-enters service," says United in an employee newsletter.

The delay follows that of other operators of the 787, the majority of whom anticipate that the aircraft will be flying again by June.

Boeing is conducting certification test flights for its proposed fix to the battery-related issues that prompted the grounding by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in January.

"We are very close... and we are very confident in the solution we are testing right now with the FAA," said James McNerney, chief executive of Boeing, in Washington on 28 March.

United says: "We also remain confident in the 787, believing that customers will quickly return to the aircraft once it goes back into service because of the enhanced travel experience it provides."