The grounding of Boeing Co.’s 787 Dreamliner amid safety concerns is not affecting business at Toray Industries Inc., the Japanese company which makes the carbon-fiber for the aircraft’s body, and Brazilian planemaker Embraer SA, executives of the two firms said.
“At this moment, there’s no sudden impact we’d expect,” Toray Executive Vice-President Shinichi Koizumi said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “There is no announcement of the reduction of production.”
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration grounded all 787s on Jan. 16 after an emergency landing by an All Nippon Airways Co. plane on a domestic flight in Japan. A lithium-ion battery on the jet emitted fumes and became charred, making it the second similar incident in a little more than a week. Aviation regulators in other countries where airlines operate the 787 followed the FAA’s lead.
“There are no issues at all,” Jackson Schneider, the Embraer executive vice president of institutional relations, said when asked about potential concerns related to the use of lithium-ion batteries for its planes. The Brazilian firm has a “different company and different supplier,” he said, adding that he expects Boeing to solve its problems “very soon.”
Both Koizumi and Schneider, who spoke in separate interviews, voiced optimism for their businesses this year.
Toray is targeting record profit for the 2013 fiscal year, Koizumi said. The Japanese chemical, biotech and nanotech company makes products ranging from golf club shafts and bathing suits to water purifiers and airbag textiles.
“We are very optimistic,” Schneider said, citing a contract it signed this week that may total $4 billion to sell regional jets to Republic Airways Holdings Inc. “The year has started exactly as we thought it would” and the company is “on track” to reach its targets, he said.