THAI stands by Dreamliner

Thai Airways International (THAI) on Thursday said it was standing by its purchase order for eight Dreamliners despite the mass grounding of the aircraft by the international aviation community amid continuing safety concerns.

Sorachak Kasemsuwan, the airline’s president, said the first of the Boeing flagship 787 Dreamliners was due for delivery at the end of next year. This meant there was almost two years for the aircraft’s problems to be solved before the company took delivery of its first one.

Mr Sorachak made the comment after regulators and airlines on Thursday grounded nearly all of the world's 787 Dreamliner fleet until a fire risk linked to the plane's batteries is fixed, deepening a crisis for US titan Boeing that threatens to last weeks.

Authorities in Chile, Europe, India, Japan and Qatar followed the lead of the US Federal Aviation Administration in ordering a halt to all flights, after a Dreamliner operated by All Nippon Airways (ANA) on a domestic flight was forced by a smoke alert to make an emergency landing on Wednesday.

THAI will wait for the release of official statements relating to the 787 aircraft from Boeing and US authorities and will decide later how to proceed with the matter, Mr Sorachak added.  

Chokchai Panyayong, THAI's senior executive vice president for strategy and business development, yesterday said he was confident the US aircraft manufacturer would be able to solve a series of production-related problems it faced before the delivery. 

Related search: dreamliner thai airways international boeing 787 grounded safety

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Writer: Amornrat Mahitthirook and AFP