JAL Replaces 787 on Some Routes on Boeing Icing Order

Japan Airlines Co., the world’s second-largest Boeing Co. Dreamliner operator, replaced 787s on two routes to avoid cancellations after Boeing ordered Dreamliner jets with General Electric Co. engines to keep away from certain weather.

Japan Airlines will replace 787s on flights between Tokyo and Delhi with 777s starting Nov. 25, and will switch to 767s on its Tokyo-Singapore route the same day, it said in a statement today.

Boeing told customers with some GE-powered engines to avoid flying within 50 nautical miles (93 kilometers) of thunderstorms to reduce chances of ice crystals forming in the engines and reducing thrust, the planemaker said in an e-mailed statement today. The 787 had problems with its battery earlier this year that led to the plane being grounded for more than three months.

“There may be cases where we wouldn’t be able to go all the way round the cloud formation and we’d have to turn back,” Yuichi Kitada, a general manager in JAL’s engineering department, said today in Tokyo. “We’re at the first step of discussing a solution to this problem with Boeing and GE.”

Boeing spokeswoman Yvonne Leach said the company alerted carriers and freight operators of 747-8s and 787s with GE engines, without specifying how many that was.

There have been six cases since April of planes with GEnx engines temporarily losing thrust in high-altitude icing conditions, according to an e-mailed statement from GE. Boeing said it will “work closely” with GE to address the issue.

The Fairfield, Connecticut-based company is working on software modifications to eliminate the problem and expects them to be available in the first quarter of next year, the statement said.

ANA Holdings Inc., the world’s biggest operator of 787s, uses Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc engines on its Dreamliners and hasn’t received any notification to avoid certain weather conditions, Maho Ito, a spokeswoman for the carrier, said by phone.