ANA replaced batteries on several 787s before latest incident

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All Nippon Airways (ANA) had to replace the batteries on several of the Boeing 787-8s in its fleet before the latest incident.

This includes the aircraft that had to make an emergency landing on 16 January after its lithium-ion polymer battery malfunctioned, says the Star Alliance member.

The battery at the centre of the 16 January incident - located in the aircraft's forward electronic equipment bay - was only installed in October 2012. It replaced the old battery just nine months after the aircraft was delivered to ANA, says the airline.

"The battery was replaced last October when we couldn't turn on the power," says an ANA spokesman. The primary function of the battery in question is to start the aircraft's engines, he adds.

While the spokesman confirms that the batteries on other several other 787s had to be replaced, he could not say exactly how many aircraft were affected.

After the emergency landing on 16 January, ANA said that it opened the forward electronic equipment bay and found that the battery was discoloured and that "the electrolysis solution had leaked".

Before this, pilots on the aircraft had observed an error message related to battery malfunction and an "unusual smell" in the cockpit and cabin.

The incident comes just a week after a Japan Airlines 787 suffered severe fire damage after a lithium-ion battery for the auxiliary power unit exploded, while the aircraft was parked at Boston's Logan airport.

The US Federal Aviation Administration has since said that it will issue an emergency airworthiness directive to ground all US-registered 787s until Boeing demonstrates that the lithium-ion polymer batteries on board are safe. Japan's transport ministry has said that it will do the same.