Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet grounding: the legal angles

The recent temporary grounding of the world’s first all-composite-construction aircraft — the Boeing 787 Dreamliner — is relatively unusual in that it has affected the worldwide fleet. At Ince & Co, we have been watching developments with interest and discussing the consequences that a fleet grounding of a specific aircraft model can have for aircraft operators, including airlines, and the consequences for their financiers and lessors.

All new airplanes entering service will at some point experience complications. The 787 Dreamliner is no exception. Since the delivery of the first Dreamliner in September 2011, this technologically advanced aircraft has experienced a number of teething problems in service. These have included fuel leaks, a cracked flight deck window, brake issues and a fire in lithium-ion batteries. The US, European and Japanese aviation authorities have ordered the grounding of all Dreamliners currently in service, until they have completed their investigations into the causes of the problems and are satisfied that they have been resolved…

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