January 17, 2013
Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and LOT Polish Airlines have joined the list of 787 operators that have stopped flying the aircraft following a U.S. FAA directive on Jan. 16. All 787 fleets worldwide have now been grounded.
In a statement on Jan. 17, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said the airline, which has five 787s in its fleet, “will resume  operations when we are clear that the aircraft meets the full requirements of the airworthiness directive.”
The two 787s operated by LOT, the only European operator of the type, are grounded following an airworthiness directive from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) which has adopted the U.S. FAA’s directive.
Ethiopian Airlines has also confirmed it is temporarily suspending 787 operations. The airline says it has “not encountered the type of problems such as those experienced by the other operators,” however it is is suspending its four 787s “as an extra precautionary safety measure...and to perform the special inspection requirements mandated by the FAA.”
Earlier in the day, Air India and LAN confirmed they are grounding their 787 fleets following the FAA directive, which called for U.S. airlines to temporarily cease 787 operations. United Airlines is the only U.S. carrier with the type in its fleet.
The groundings were prompted by an incident on Jan. 16 in Japan, when an ANA 787 on a domestic flight declared an emergency and diverted to another airport. Pilots reported messages on cockpit indicators concerning the battery and other systems, and they also noticed an unusual odor in the cockpit and cabin. Inspections revealed that the main battery in the forward electronic equipment bay was discolored and its electrolysis solution had leaked.