ADDIS ABABA, April 27 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.
U.S. regulators approved a new battery design last week,
clearing the way for installation and a resumption of Dreamliner
flights by international carriers.
Saturday's flight was the first since regulators grounded
the worldwide Dreamliner fleet on Jan. 16 after two lithium-ion
battery meltdowns that occurred on two jets within two weeks
The battery faults raised fears of a possible mid-air fire,
drawing worldwide attention to Boeing and denting the reputation
of its flagship plane.
"I'm always worried about flying and I'm an insurance worker
so I'm apprehensive. But I'm sure they've checked and double
checked so we'll be fine," said Eunice Mbogo minutes before
boarding Ethiopia Airlines' Dreamliner flight to Nairobi.
The aircraft was due to land in Kenya just before 1000 GMT.
The grounding of the Dreamliner fleet has cost Boeing an
estimated $600 million, halted deliveries and forced some
airlines to lease alternative aircraft.