American Airlines CEO ‘Confident’ 787 Issues Will Be Resolved

American Airlines, with pending orders for 42 Boeing Co. 787s, said it expects the planemaker to resolve operating issues that prompted Japanese carriers to park almost half the world’s Dreamliner fleet.

AMR Corp.’s American on Jan. 14 disclosed an accelerated schedule agreement with Boeing that calls for its first 787 to be delivered in November 2014. The carrier in October said it wouldn’t receive its initial Dreamliner until after 2014.

“I’m confident that will be a good airplane,” Tom Horton, Fort Worth, Texas-based American’s chief executive officer, said today in an interview. “Boeing and the operators will work through the issues. We’re steadfast in our support of the 787.”

All Nippon Airways Co. and Japan Airlines Co. grounded their 24 Dreamliners through tomorrow after pilots on a domestic ANA flight got a battery-fault warning and smelled smoke. It was the most recent in a series of 787 mishaps in that have included a fire, fuel leaks, electrical faults and a cracked windscreen.

American holds options for 58 more 787 orders. The updated agreement with Boeing lets it substitute as many as 20 787-8 aircraft for 787-9 planes among those already on order. The airline will receive new 787s each year through September 2018.

United Continental Holdings Inc., the only U.S. carrier flying the Dreamliner, continued to operate the aircraft as scheduled today.

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