Dreamliner runs into concerns over safety

Los Angeles Times /

Aerospace giant Boeing Co. just can’t seem to escape trouble with its new 787 Dreamliner passenger jet.

More than three years late because of design problems and supplier issues, the much-anticipated plane has run into another bout of turbulence with fresh concerns about its safety.

The Federal Aviation Administration this month ordered inspections of fuel line connectors on Dreamliners because of risks of leaks and possible fires.

On the same day, a United Airlines Dreamliner flight from Houston to Newark, N.J., was diverted to New Orleans after an electrical problem popped up mid-flight. After accepting delivery of the aircraft just a month earlier, Qatar Airways later said it had grounded a Dreamliner for the same problem that United experienced.

Despite criticism of the problem-plagued program, Boeing is confident that the plane will be a success once it gets more miles under its wings.

“We’re having what we would consider the normal number of squawks on a new airplane, consistent with other new airplanes we’ve introduced,” Boeing Chief Executive Jim McNerney said in an interview on cable network CNBC.

“We regret the impact on our customers, obviously,” he said. “But we’re working through it.”