(Reuters) - Regulators grounded Boeing Co’s 787 Dreamliner passenger jet on Wednesday, saying a recent series of safety incidents meant urgent action was needed.
The Federal Aviation Administration said it would require airlines to demonstrate that the plane’s cutting-edge batteries were safe before allowing further flights. It has notified regulators in other countries of its action as well.
”This could go either way.
”One scenario is they need to change one diode and it might take an hour per airplane, no harm no foul. The other possibility is this thing is for real and we find out the whole lithium-ion battery is a major design flaw. Then Boeing is in a world of yogurt, and the FAA is too.
”It’s not like it was rushed to the market, it was only four years late. It was watched all the way through. If the FAA certified this thing with batteries that explode, then the FAA bears some of the responsibility. It’s the FAA that allowed this to happen... Everybody follows the FAA.
”This simply means you have a high-tech problem. We’re not talking about the fundamental design of the airplane. We’re only talking about the battery.
“This could be lethal to Airbus, they could die laughing. It’s going to be one of those issues where Boeing has to move fast.”
”Ultimately, you can view it as a positive thing if they can resolve what the issues are and give people confidence in the safety of the aircraft.
“In the near term, though, it’s a negative. It’s going to force the company to make significant investments.”
Reporting By Alwyn Scott in Seattle and Malathi Nayak and Gerry Shih in San Francisco