Boeing’s battle against the problems that have afflicted its 787 Dreamliner aircraft has taken another step forward today with the arrival of the first scheduled flight into London Heathrow airport since the plane was grounded, worldwide, in January.
Doha-based carrier Qatar Airways has virtually repeated its achievement of being the first air carrier to bring the Dreamliner to Heathrow when it was first launched back in December, by being the first to fly it back into the UK’s busiest airport now that safety concerns have been addressed.
The aircraft suffered its international grounding approximately five months ago, following reports by two Japanese airlines that on board batteries were prone to overheating. A lengthy investigation followed, culminating in a solution being found to the problem that satisfied the world’s aviation authorities. Scheduled flights in other parts of the world have already recommenced.
Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways chief executive, said, ‘The Doha – Heathrow route is one of our most popular international routes, and so I’m thrilled that our Dreamliners are back in the skies, providing our passengers with an unparalleled level of service and comfort to and from the UK.I have always hailed the Dreamliner as the state-of-the-art aircraft destined to change the way people travel. After a setback that not only affected our own worldwide operations, but those of many carriers worldwide, we look forward to now deploying the Dreamliner on other key routes over the coming weeks.’
Delays in deliveries of the new aircraft caused by its technical difficulties mean that Qatar Airways is currently the only airline that will be operating scheduled Dreamliner flights to Heathrow.