Tokyo: The grounded Dreamliner is "absolutely" safe and will be back in the air within weeks, plane maker Boeing said in Japan on Friday, as it sought to reassure airlines and passengers about its aircraft.
The 50 planes grounded around the world since two lithium-ion battery malfunctions sparked a global no-fly order in mid-January will get fixes to their systems and be operational again soon, senior executives said.
"I get often asked if I think the air plane is still safe. My answer is simple: absolutely," Mike Sinnett, the chief project engineer on the 787, told reporters.

The Dreamliner "is among the safest air planes our company has ever produced", he added. Ray Connor, president of Boeing Commercial Air planes, said fixes the company had put in place and which were now undergoing flight testing meant the aircraft would be back in the skies soon.

The company chose to give its first public explanation of the fix in Japan, home to two of its biggest customers – All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines -- and to suppliers who make around a third of the aircraft's parts.
The Dreamliner has been lauded for its use of next-generation materials that have cut weight and slashed fuel costs.
Boeing opted to use lithium-ion batteries for the plane, which engineers say are lighter than other batteries and are capable of higher power output that they do not lose when not in use.
But the batteries have come under scrutiny after a small fire on a parked 787 at Boston's Logan Airport in January. Days later what appeared to be smoke from a battery on an ANA flight forced an emergency landing in Japan.


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