By Tiffany Hsu
7:06 PM PST, January 18, 2013
The Federal Aviation Administration may have just grounded Boeing’s Dreamliner planes, but Chief Executive Jim McNerney still says the company has “high confidence in the safety of the 787.”
Executives “stand squarely behind its integrity as the newest addition to our product family,” McNerney wrote in a message posted to Boeing’s internal website for employees.
The new plane suffered a string of mechanical glitches leading to fires, fuel leaks and a decision from federal regulators to temporarily ground the 787s used by U.S. airlines and review their design and assembly.
McNerney said Boeing is “working around the clock” to aid in the investigation of the aircraft, which first entered service 15 months ago.
He called the Dreamliner, which has completed 18,000 flights with eight airlines so far, “the most innovative commercial airplane ever imagined,” a “game-changing” addition to the annals of aviation.
More than a million passengers have voyaged on the various Dreamliners.
“My confidence in the future of the 787 is underpinned by my trust and confidence in you, the men and women of Boeing,” McNerney wrote.
Boeing’s troubles come at an inconvenient time for Polish airline LOT, which had planned a massive celebration this week to kick off its Chicago-to-Warsaw Dreamliner flight. LOT is the only European airline to have the high-tech jumbo jet in service.
The flight was canceled on directives from the FAA and the European Aviation Agency.
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