ANA says no change to 787 orders; Boeing making progress

TOKYO Fri Mar 1, 2013 2:10am GMT

Four All Nippon Airways' (ANA) Boeing Co's 787 Dreamliner planes (top) are seen behind another ANA plane at Haneda airport in Tokyo January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Four All Nippon Airways' (ANA) Boeing Co's 787 Dreamliner planes (top) are seen behind another ANA plane at Haneda airport in Tokyo January 29, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Toru Hanai

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TOKYO (Reuters) - All Nippon Airways Co Ltd (9202.T) said on Friday it was not considering any change to its orders of troubled 787 Dreamliner jets and that it believed Boeing Co (BA.N) was making significant progress in resolving problems.

The planes have been grounded worldwide due to an undiagnosed battery problem and the impact has been felt most by ANA and Japan Airlines Co (9201.T), which fly nearly half of the 50 Dreamliners delivered to date.

ANA CEO Shinichiro Ito said he met Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner on Wednesday.

"I was left with the impression that progress was being made," Ito said, adding that ANA will conduct its own test flights after authorities give the green light to resume flights.

Conner told reporters on Thursday the company discussed a permanent fix for its lithium-ion battery with Japanese authorities.

One battery, made by Kyoto-based GS Yuasa Corp (6674.T), caught on fire onboard a JAL plane in Boston while another forced an ANA plane to make an emergency landing in western Japan in January.

ANA has cancelled 3,601 domestic and international flights since the plane was grounded in January through to the end of May.

ANA on Thursday said it was appointing Osamu Shinobe, the main architect of the strategy to put the Dreamliner at the centre of its fleet planning, in charge of the airline business from April.

Shinobe, responding to a reporter's question on whether 787 will be allowed to fly again in April, said: "The ball is with Boeing and the FAA".

(Reporting by Tim Kelly, Writing by Mari Saito; Editing by Paul Tait and Edwina Gibbs)

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