Ethiopian Airlines resumes Boeing 787 flights

Boeing’s 787 was returned to passenger service with a flight Saturday by Ethiopian Airlines.

Ethiopian is the first carrier to return the 787 to service since the Dreamliner was grounded Jan. 16 due to battery failures. The Federal Aviation Administration approved Boeing’s updated battery system last week and cleared the 787 to fly again Thursday.

“We are excited to resume our service with the Dreamliners,” Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said in a statement.

Gebremariam and Randy Tinseth, Boeing vice president of marketing, were aboard the flight Saturday from Addis Ababa to Nairobi.

Ray Conner, president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, thanked Ethiopian for its patience during the 787’s grounding.

“We congratulate the airline on the return to commercial service of their 787 fleet,” Conner said. “Ethiopian is a leading airline in Africa and we take pride in their achievement.”

Ethiopian was the third airline in the world to own and operate a 787. Ethiopian’s CEO said the airline was pleased with the 787’s performance during the five months Ethiopian flew the Dreamliner prior to its grounding.

Boeing’s Tinseth described Ethiopian’s 787 flight on Saturday as “truly perfect” on his blog. The flight left on time and landed early, Tinseth wrote.

“It was a fantastic, party-like atmosphere as we boarded,” Tinseth wrote. “The most powerful statement came when the airplane made a flawless flight.”

Boeing had delivered 50 787s at the time of the grounding. The company has deployed 300 employees around the world to help customers with installing the new battery system. Boeing’s CEO Jim McNerney estimated on Wednesday that the bulk of retrofits should be completed by mid-May.

More in Herald Business Journal

Snohomish County’s campaign to land the 797 takes off

Executive Dave Somers announced the formation of a task force to urge Boeing to build the plane here.

For modern women, 98-year-old rejection letters still sting

In a stark new video, female Boeing engineers break the silence about past inopportunity.

Drone’s ease piercing of NY ‘no-fly’ zone underscores risks

An Army Black Hawk helicopter suffered damage to one of its rotor blades, but was able to land safely.

Tax reform needs the public’s input on spending priorities

The GOP tax plan is a good idea, but the next step should give us a voice on how taxes are spent.

Disney buying large part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B deal

Before the buyout, 21st Century Fox will spin off the Fox network, stations and cable channels.

Commentary: GM, Boeing fight a war of words over Mars

Boeing is strongly signaling how crucial deep-space exploration is to its future.

Angel of the Winds pays $3.4M for Everett arena naming rights

The casino replaces Xfinity as the lead sponsor for the publicly owned downtown Everett events center.

Delta orders 100 Airbus A321neo jets valued at $12.7 billion

Boeing had hoped to land the deal, offering comparable 737s.

Pain lingers decade after recession

No matter how good things are now, it’s impossible to forget how the collapse affected people.

Most Read