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Boeing's 'plastic plane' grounded by safety concerns

January 17, 2013

CHICAGO -- The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, dubbed the “plastic plane” due to its extensive use of composites, has been withdrawn from service by airlines in the US Japan, Chile and India over safety concerns.

A series of incidents – including fuel leaks, a cracked cockpit window, brake problems and an electrical fire – have dogged the aircraft. As a result, both the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency have ordered the grounding of the plane.

Boeing CEO Jim McNerney, said: “We will be taking every necessary step in the coming days to assure our customers and the travelling public of the 787’s safety and to return the airplanes to service.

“Boeing deeply regrets the impact that recent events have had on the operating schedules of our customers and the inconvenience to them and their passengers.”

Boeing has sold some 850 of its new plane with 50 delivered to date.