Chile-based LAN Airlines has become the first non-US carrier to announce it will comply with the US FAA recommendation and temporarily suspend its Boeing 787 operations.
LAN said the grounding was being done in coordination with the Chilean Aeronautical Authority (DGAC). The carrier has three 787s.
FAA earlier this evening ordered US-registered 787s to be grounded citing concerns about the safety of the aircraft’s lithium ion batteries after an All Nippon Airways (ANA) 787 was forced to make an emergency landing yesterday and a battery was found to have leaked. ANA and Japan Airlines (JAL) both voluntarily grounded their 787s after the incident, which is under investigation.
“Flights that were scheduled to be operated by the 787 will be temporarily replaced with other aircraft in our fleet to mitigate any potential impacts that this situation could cause to its passengers and cargo clients. The safety of the operation and its passengers is LAN’s top priority and the company regrets any inconvenience that this may cause,” LAN said.
Although the FAA grounding of the 787 applies to US carriers—and United Airlines is currently the only US Dreamliner operator—it expected that all international operators will follow suit. The other 787 operators are Air India, Ethiopian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines and Qatar Airways.