Qatar Airways has confirmed to Doha News that its 787 Dreamliner fleet will return to the skies on May 5, but added that they will initially only fly the Doha-Dubai route.
“We don’t have any information yet about when other routes will be added, but we will be making announcements on our website as and when we have news,” the airline’s press office said.
The 787 has been grounded worldwide since an FAA directive in January following concerns about the safety of the plane’s batteries.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Qatar Airways will be the first airline to get its 787s back in the air.
US carrier United Airlines plans to have one plane going by the end of May, while LOT, the only European airline that flies the 787, will need six to eight weeks. Meanwhile, the two Japanese carriers with Dreamliners may wait until June, the WSJ states.
Before the grounding, Qatar Airways’ 787s flew to London, Zurich, Munich, and several intra-Gulf routes.
Qatar Airways’ announcement follows the US Federal Aviation Authority’s approval of a Boeing “fix” for the overheating lithium-ion batteries, including new containment and venting systems.
The airline owns five Dreamliners, and is expected to receive five more before the end of the year.
Credit: Photo by RS Deakin