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JAL completes successful 787 test

AFP-JIJI

Japan Airlines on Thursday conducted its first test flight of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner since the aircraft was grounded worldwide, with an eye to resuming commercial flights in June.

JAL said its plane took off from Haneda airport in Tokyo early Thursday and returned after a two-hour flight over northern Japan without any problems with the newly modified battery system. The company plans to conduct another test flight from Narita airport in Chiba Prefecture later in the day, a spokesman said.

The successful test flight came after rival All Nippon Airways Co. conducted its own test of the next-generation jet after U.S. regulators signed off on the battery fix it proposed.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and other regulators grounded the Dreamliners worldwide in mid-January after failures in their lithium-ion batteries caused a fire on one parked plane in Boston and forced the emergency landing of an ANA-operated aircraft at Takamatsu Airport in Kagawa Prefecture.

After months of investigation, the FAA’s formal approval last week was swiftly followed by Ethiopian Airlines on Saturday, which became the first carrier to put the aircraft back in the skies.