Fri, Apr 19, 2013 - Page 15 News List

All Nippon Airways, GS Yuasa stocks soar on likely green light for Boeing 787

AFP, TOKYO

An All Nippon Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner is towed by a tractor at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport in Japan on Jan. 16.

Photo: AFP

Shares in All Nippon Airways (ANA) and battery maker GS Yuasa surged yesterday after a report that US and Japanese regulators were preparing to give the green light to the resumption of Boeing Co Dreamliner flights.

Japan’s Nikkei Shimbun business daily said aviation safety bosses in both countries could lift the grounding order on the Boeing 787, which has been parked up around the world since January following incidents involving its batteries.

GS Yuasa, the company that makes the battery and is at the center of the safety probe, saw its Tokyo-listed stocks rocket more than 11 percent at one point before closing at ¥404, up 5.48 percent.

All Nippon shares rose 5.07 percent to ¥207 before easing to close at ¥204, a gain of 3.55 percent. Japan Airlines (JAL) was up 0.82 percent at ¥4,255 at the close, after climbing 1.90 percent earlier.

All 50 Boeing 787 planes in service around the world were grounded in mid-January after a series of overheating problems with the cutting-edge aircraft’s lithium-ion battery system.

The Nikkei said the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has notified Japanese officials of its intention to approve the aircraft for flight in light of the measures manufacturer Boeing is taking.

The Japanese Ministry of Transportation is expected to lift its own ban once the FAA makes an official announcement, the Nikkei said. The paper did not identify its sources.

In the US, United Airlines may start flying Dreamliners as soon as the end of next month, it said.

All Nippon is looking to bring back the Dreamliner for domestic service on June 1 and JAL, which flies the Dreamliner only on international routes, plans to resume in June, the paper said.

“We can’t tell you right now when we will likely lift the ban on the grounding, as we are now in the process of evaluating Boeing’s report on their safety measures,” a ministry official told reporters.

“If Boeing shows that it has taken all measures against all possible root causes of the trouble, the aircraft will be able to resume flight again,” the official added.

ANA and JAL spokesmen said they could not confirm the report, adding that both airlines were waiting for regulators’ approval.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta on Tuesday said that Boeing “has completed all required tests and analysis” intended to demonstrate the safety of battery fixes on its 787 jets, suggesting that an end to the grounding of Boeing’s cutting-edge passenger jet would come soon.

Huerta in written testimony told the US Senate Commerce Committee that the agency is reviewing Boeing’s submission and will give final approval to put the planes back into commercial service when the agency is satisfied that the redesigned battery system meets FAA requirements.

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