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Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways are two of the 787’s biggest customers.
ANA was especially proud of its 787 fleet. Its executives’ business cards and the top of its website read "787" and "We fly 1st." ANA got the first one Boeing delivered in late 2011, more than three years late.
Other 787s have had problems with certain electrical panels and fuel leaks.
Back on Jan. 9, ANA canceled a domestic flight to Tokyo after a computer wrongly indicated there was a problem with the 787’s brakes. Two days later, the carrier reported two new problems with the aircraft — a minor fuel leak and a cracked cockpit windscreen.
Many of the 787’s problems are typical of well-established planes around the world, Hiatt said, adding that he would have no qualms about flying aboard a 787.
"That airplane is the most scrutinized plane in the air," he said. "I would get on the airplane tomorrow."
Hours before the FAA announced its emergency order, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood dismissed any doubts about the FAA’s diligence in certifying the plane.
"Our people are the best, but we need to work with Boeing and to make sure everything we’ve done has been done correctly," he told reporters Wednesday at a luncheon in Washington.
The FAA’s move canceled plans by LOT Polish Airlines to begin regular 787 service between Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and Warsaw. The inaugural flight landed at O’Hare late Wednesday, but passengers said the airline called off the return trip.
Last week’s fire, which was also tied to the battery in the back of the plane, prompted investigations by both the National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA.
The NTSB said Wednesday that it would send an investigator to Japan to join the latest probe, and that representatives from the FAA and Boeing were on their way, too.
United frequent flier Josh Feller said he changed his plans to fly a United 787 from Los Angeles to Houston next month because of the 787’s troubles.
"I’ve been following the 787 news closely, and the latest incident finally spooked me into changing my flight," he said by email. "It’s an unnecessary risk, and since I was going out of my way to fly the plane in the first place, decided to change flights."
Boeing shares dropped $2.60, or 3.4 percent, to close Wednesday at $74.34, and the selloff continued in after-hours trading.
Associated Press writers Elaine Kurtenbach and Yuri Kageyama in Tokyo, Kelvin Chan in Hong Kong, Scott Mayerowitz in New York contributed to this report.
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