ANA, JAL Both Said They Had Exchanged Batteries Prior To Fleet Grounding
ANA said it had to change lithium-ion batteries in its Dreamliners ten times before the FAA and other world aviation authorities grounded the airplanes for issues with the power cells. But a spokeswoman for the airline did not say there were specific problems with the batteries, only that "batteries in general have to be replaced as frequently as need arises," according to the French news service AFP.
Japan Airline also said that there had been multiple cases in which batteries on its 787s had to be exchanged prior to the grounding. Neither airline said whether the batteries were on a specific airplane, or if multiple aircraft were involved in the exchanges.
The NTSB is studying the batteries on a microscopic level in an effort to determine why a cell on a JAL plane caught fire while the plane was parked at a gate at Boston Logan International Airport. A suspected battery incident also caused an ANA airplane to make an emergency landing a few days later, and the entire flees was parked shortly after that.
JAL and ANA combined have ordered 111 Dreamliners.