"This plane is a game changer and will be essential to Air NZ making a profit on long-haul flights."Featured comment
UPDATE: Air New Zealand is protected from recent problems with Boeing's new Dreamliner plane, an aviation analyst says.
The airline's 787 fleet has been grounded in the US while the planes are checked for problems.
Forsyth Barr analyst Rob Mercer says Air New Zealand – which is scheduled to receive its first Dreamliner aircraft next year – should not be affected.
The airline had deliberately chosen to delay receipt of its first 787 Dreamliner in order to take Series 9 planes, whereas the grounded aircraft are Series 8 and problems would be ironed out before the Series 9 was released.
"That was the choice they made," he says. "These things are good headlines at the moment, but they're not a reason for someone to be nervous about Air New Zealand."
In other developments, Qatar Airways said it was grounding its five 787s until further notice following instructions by both the US Federal Aviation Administration and Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority.
“Qatar Airways will resume 787 operations when we are clear that the aircraft meets the full requirements of the Airworthiness Directive and our standards which assure the safety of our passengers and crew at all times. So we are not flying the aircraft until and only such a time this is achieved," chief executive Akbar Al Baker said.
EARLIER: Troubles are mounting for Boeing’s new generation 787 Dreamliner aircraft with US aviation regulators ordering the immediate temporary halt of all flights.
This follows yesterday’s grounding by Japan’s two main airlines, which operate half of the 50 Dreamliners in service around the world.
The Federal Aviation Administration says it requires a "corrective action plan" before flights can resume – and hasn't released a timetable for when that might happen.
The agency says it work with Boeing and airlines to develop a plan to resume operations as quickly and safely as possible. In the US, it has meant the suspension of United’s six 787s. Other US airlines have not received any Dreamliners.
The Japanese grounding by ANA and Japan Airlines was prompted an emergency landing at Takamatsu, in southern Japan, after pilots reacted to alarms indicating smoke coming from the main battery that power’s the aircraft’s electronics.
The follows other problems also related to the batteries and electrical troubles, as well as cracked windows and faulty brakes.
US air-safety regulators launched a comprehensive review of the 787 programme last week and said they were also dispatching an investigator to Japan.
Jim McNerney, the Boeing chairman, president and CEO, says: “Boeing is committed to supporting the FAA and finding answers as quickly as possible.
“The company is working around the clock with its customers and the various regulatory and investigative authorities. We will make available the entire resources of The Boeing Company to assist.
“We are confident the 787 is safe and we stand behind its overall integrity. We will be taking every necessary step in the coming days to assure our customers and the traveling public of the 787s safety and to return the airplanes to service.
“Boeing deeply regrets the impact that recent events have had on the operating schedules of our customers and the inconvenience to them and their passengers.”
Other airlines are continuing to operate their 787s. LOT Polish Airlines said its inaugural 787 flight from Warsaw to Chicago took off as planned. It has two 787s. State-run Air India said its six Dreamliners were operating normally.
Qatar Airways has five on services from Doha to airports in Europe and, from next month, Perth. Other airlines with 787s are Ethiopian Airlines (4) and LAN Chile (3).