Transport Airlines

Dreamliner grounding stymies with ANA’s growth strategy with another 400 cancellations

Jan 26, 2013 12:32 pm

Skift Take

Hinging your entire expansion plan on a revolutionary aircraft might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but ANA’s situation should be used as a warning to growing airlines in the future.

— Samantha Shankman

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All Nippon Airways Co., which has the biggest fleet of Dreamliner jets, on Saturday cancelled another 379 flights scheduled for February 1-18, almost doubling the number of its cancellations since one of the planes made an emergency landing.

The latest cancellations brings the number of ANA flights stopped since the January 16 emergency landing in western Japan to 838. All Dreamliners have been grounded since January 17 due to unexplained battery problems.

ANA, which has 17 of the 50 Dreamliners that Boeing Co has delivered to airlines to date, said the cancellations have affected more than 82,620 passengers.

ANA said on its website that it flies around 3.7 million passengers each month on domestic and international routes.

ANA, which has put the lightweight, fuel-efficient Dreamliner at the centre of its growth strategy, may have to scale back its next 2-year plan as it considers the mounting cost of the new aircraft’s grounding.

U.S. safety officials looking into a battery fire on a separate 787 jet said on Thursday they are nowhere close to completing their probe, raising the prospect of a lengthy suspension for the technologically advanced aircraft.

Reporting by Leika Kihara. Editing by Paul Tait.

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