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Dreamliner completes first commercial flight since grounding

JIJI

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner returned to Japanese skies Sunday for its first commercial flight since battery troubles grounded the advanced aircraft globally in January.

The nonscheduled All Nippon Airways flight touched down at Tokyo International Airport at Haneda after taking off from New Chitose Airport near Sapporo on Sunday afternoon.

ANA and rival Japan Airlines plan to resume regular 787 services on Saturday.

The battery troubles included a fire on a JAL plane on the ground at Logan International Airport in Boston and an emergency landing of an ANA plane in Japan due to smoke. Japanese and U.S. aviation regulators approved Boeing Co.’s battery fixes last month.

ANA conducted about 200 test flights to make sure it was ready to resume use of the 787, Hiroyuki Ito, senior executive vice president, told customers at New Chitose Airport.

ANA is determined to assure customers that the Dreamliner is safe, Ito said.

ANA plans to resume 787 services between Narita airport and San Jose, California, which were suspended by the battery problems just after the route opened.

ANA also plans to insert the 787 into international routes linking Narita to Taipei, Beijing and Shanghai, and into domestic routes connecting Tokyo with Akita and Toyama.

The cancellations triggered by the Dreamliner’s grounding cost ANA more than ¥12 billion in estimated revenue.