United CEO cites confidence in Boeing's ability to fix 787

Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:14pm EST

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(Reuters) - United Continental Holdings Inc said on Thursday it was confident that Boeing Co could correct the issues with the 787 Dreamliner, which was grounded earlier this month after a series of safety incidents including battery fires.

"History teaches us that all new aircraft types have issues and the 787 is no different," United Continental Chairman and Chief Executive Jeff Smisek said during the carrier's earnings conference call. "We continue to have confidence in the aircraft and in Boeing's ability to fix the issues, just as they have done on every other new aircraft model they've produced."

United, the only U.S. carrier currently operating 787 planes, has six 787s, and Smisek said it expects to take delivery of two additional ones in the second half of this year.

(Reporting by Karen Jacobs; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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