All Nippon Airways (ANA) is planning to put its Boeing 787 pilots through simulator training in April, to prepare them for the resumption of 787 operations.

"We're preparing for after Boeing's service bulletin is approved. Once it's approved by the US FAA [Federal Aviation Administration], it means the Boeing modification plan is also approved," says an ANA spokesman.

The operator, which has 17 787-8s in its fleet, would only say it expects the resumption of simulator training to happen sometime in April.

ANA has about 200 787 pilots and two 787 simulators. The training is necessary to prepare the pilots to fly the jets again.

ANA also recently said that it will start selling tickets for domestic routes operated using 787s from 1 June. Tickets, however, will not be offered for key trans-Pacific routes such as Tokyo Narita to Seattle and San Jose.

The carrier has given no indication as to when it feels the 787 grounding could be lifted.

Boeing is meanwhile working to certify a new battery containment system for the 787 that aims to reduce the risk of the batteries overheating, and to eliminate the risk of the batteries starting a fire. The US FAA's certification is necessary to allow the aircraft type to return to flight.

Besides the 17 -8s in its fleet, ANA also has orders for 19 more of the type, and for 30 787-9s.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news