All Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes taken out of service over safety concerns
All of Boeing's 50 flagship 787 Dreamliners have been temporarily taken out of service amid safety concerns.
The US and European aviation agencies said planes should be grounded while safety checks are carried out on their lithium ion batteries. They are worried that the batteries could leak, corroding vital equipment and potentially causing fires, reports the BBC.
Boeing said it stood by the integrity of the Dreamliner, which has been in service since October 2011.
The last time the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered a general grounding of an aircraft model was in 1979, when McDonnell Douglas DC-10s were grounded following a fatal crash.
A string of issues in recent weeks have raised questions about the 787. Dreamliners have suffered incidents including fuel leaks, a cracked cockpit window, brake problems and an electrical fire. However, it is the battery problems that have caused the most concern.
The FAA said airlines must demonstrate battery safety before flights can resume. The authority added that it had alerted the international aviation community of its airworthiness directive, so that other authorities could take parallel action to cover the fleets operating in their countries.
The FAA said it would work with the manufacturer and carriers on an action plan to allow the US 787 fleet to resume operations as quickly and safely as possible.
The European Aviation Safety Agency endorsed the directive early on Thursday.
All eight airlines currently flying Boeing 787s - which include All Nippon Airways, Japan Airways, United Airlines, Chile's LAN, Air India, Poland's Lot Airlines,
Qatar Airways and Ethiopian Airlines - have grounded the planes.