Japan Airlines continues to fly 787s after Boston incident

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Japan Airlines is continuing to fly its Boeing 787-8s following a fire on the type while it was on the ground at Boston Logan International Airport.

This comes after the Oneworld alliance member conducted additional inspections on its six other 787s, says a JAL spokeswoman. She was unable to provide specific information on what inspections had been carried out.

She adds that while the fire forced the airline to cancel its return service to Tokyo Narita on 7 January, the airline would still operate its Boston service on 8 January with a 787.

JAL says that it is working closely with Boeing and the US National Transportation Safety Bureau to determine the cause of the incident.

One of the aircraft's lithium ion batteries located in the aft electrical bay exploded while the aircraft was parked and empty, following a 12-hour flight from Tokyo Narita airport. The explosion caused a secondary fire that was extinguished by firefighters at the airport.

Photographs taken by local media outlets show that the aircraft involved is registered as JA829J. Flightglobal's Ascend Online database shows that the aircraft was delivered to JAL on 20 December 2012.

The Boston incident is the latest in a series of electrical problems that have plagued the 787.

In November 2010, a 787 involved in the flight testing programme was forced to make an emergency landing after a fire occurred in one of the aircraft's power distribution boards located in the aft electronics engine bay.

The fire was later traced to the ingestion of foreign debris into the distribution board, causing a short circuit, forcing supplier Hamilton Sundstrand to make changes to its configuration.

On 4 December 2012, a United Airlines 787-8 made a diversion to New Orleans shortly after take-off from Houston, following the failure of an electrical generator controller.

Chilean carrier LAN recently said that its 787s have had a lower reliability rate compared with other aircraft in their fleet, partly because of problems with the aircraft's electrical and cooling systems.