Inside the 787
Inside the 787 Photo: Yachatz

Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is facing new problems, just a month after returning to service following a four-month hiatus due to major issues with its lithium-ion batteries.

Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner jet is quickly losing ground in Japan, with three cancellations of service this week alone.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) cancelled a service Wednesday afer the jet could not make its scheduled flight from Ube to Tokyo’s Haneda airport in Western Japan. The 787 was grounded because the right-side engine would not start, according to airline spokesman Yoichi Uchida, who said the 141 passengers on the flight were being redirected.

The incident occurred only one day after a Japan Airlines 787 flight to Singapore was forced to return to Haneda shortly after takeoff due to a problem in its de-icing system. The system is needed for certain weather conditions. A malfunction can sometimes be dangerous, but this time the jet was not at risk, according to JAL spokesman Jian Yang.

Two days ago, on June 10, ANA had to scrap a flight from Fukuoka to Tokyo when a sensor next to an engine indicated a possible problem.

The Dreamliner is the first jetliner to be produced primarily of composite plastic materials, making it a more cost-effective option for the far-flung Japanese island nation. It is also the first and only large commercial jet to include lithium-ion batteries as part of its power system.

The jetliner came back into service only a month ago after being grounded for four months due to problems with its lithium-ion batteries, which were overheating. The individual battery cells have since been encased to prevent fire and a venting tube leading to a place outside the fuselage has been added.

ANA and JAP, who together own 27 Dreamliners, were badly impacted by the 787's grounding since they were using the aircraft to fly long-haul routes to places like Boston, Massachusetts.

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