Ethiopian launches first 787 Dreamliner flight since grounding

ADDIS ABABA, April 27 Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:14am EDT

ADDIS ABABA, April 27 (Reuters) - Ethiopian Airlines on Saturday became the world's first carrier to resume flights with Boeing Co's <BA.N > 787 Dreamliner passenger jets, a Reuters witness said, three months after they were grounded over battery meltdowns.

An Ethiopian Dreamliner passenger jet left Addis Ababa for a scheduled flight to Nairobi just before 11 a.m. (0800 GMT) and was due to arrive in Kenya about two hours later.

U.S. regulators approved a new lithium-ion battery design last week, clearing the way for installation and a resumption of Dreamliner flights by international carriers. Dreamliners had been grounded on Jan. 16 after two battery meltdowns that occurred on two jets within two weeks that month.