Responding to a grounding order imposed by the US Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing chief executive Jim McNerney says the company will seek to return the 787 to service in the "coming days".

McNerney also repeated Boeing's confidence about the aircraft despite the FAA's stated concerns about the risk of a fire caused by the 787's lithium-ion-polymer batteries.

"We are confident the 787 is safe and we stand behind its overall integrity," McNerney says.

The FAA order officially grounds six 787s operated by United Airlines, and adds to the fleet groundings already imposed earlier on 15 January by All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines.

The aircraft is now the focus of three separate safety investigations or reviews involving regulators in France, Japan and the USA.

Battery malfunctions have been blamed for a fire onboard a parked JAL 787 in Boston on 7 January and heat damage and smoke that forced an ANA 787 to make an emergency landing in Japan on 15 January.

"The company is working around the clock with its customers and the various regulatory and investigative authorities," McNerney says.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news