All Nippon Airways, which had begun new service from Sea-Tac Airport to Tokyo last year with considerable fanfare, has quietly canceled the service because of problems with Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner.
All Nippon had tried to maintain the service by flying only a few days a week with alternate aircraft, but ultimately the airline decided that it needed daily service or none at all.
Problems with lithium ion batteries in the world’s 50-plane active fleet of Boeing 787s has brought the grounding of those aircraft. All Nippon had flown the Sea-Tac-Tokyo route using a Dreamliner. All Nippon is the launch customer for the Dreamliner with 17 that were in service before the battery problems occurred.
Batteries in two 787s, one in Boston and the other in Japan, alarmed regulators who feared that an airborne battery fire could cause lose of an aircraft.
All Nippon also canceled Dreamliner flights from San Jose, Calif. to Tokyo and to other destinations around the world and in Japan.
The airline said it would consider reinstating the service if the battery problems are solved.
Boeing has proposed fixes to those problems to regulators in Japan and the U.S. Those fixes reportedly include separating the individual cells in the batteries so that a fire in one cell can’t spread easily to another and stronger protective casings for the batteries with vents to exhaust smoke to the outside.