A Boeing 787 made an emergency landing over the weekend in the latest technical glitch for the new plane, but analysts say the problems are no cause for concern about the Dreamliner's future.
On Sunday, United Airlines said its United flight 94 from to Denver from Houston returned due to a brake indicator light that incorrectly indicated there was an issue.
"Following standard operating procedures, as a precautionary measure, the flight landed in emergency status. The aircraft landed safely at 11:58 a.m. C.T. and our maintenance team is conducting a review of the aircraft," United Airlines said in a statement. United re-accommodated customers to their final destinations.
But United doesn't have any concerns about the airplanes in general.
"We still have full confidence in the aircraft," a spokeswoman said.
"Some of these things are expected for sure, yes, and part of new airplane launches," said Neal Dihora, equity analyst with Morningstar. "I don't think it says much about the future of the aircraft. We tend to focus a lot on the Dreamliner because it is new and it has experienced larger issues in the past. Safety is the primary concern with all things in the air, so 'emergency' landings with new aircraft get increased following."
Since launching commercially in 2011, there have been problems with Dreamliner aircraft around the world.
Last week, a Denver to Tokyo flight was diverted because of an oil indicator light. On June 12, an All Nippon Airways Dreamliner flight was canceled when an engine would not start. On the previous day, a Japan Airlines flight to Singapore returned to Tokyo because of a deicing problem.
Until mid-April, the Federal Aviation Administration and other regulators grounded the global Dreamliner fleet for three months due to a battery catching fire on a plane parked in Boston, and another emergency landing in Japan. The batteries and their cases were redesigned as a result of the grounding.
Boeing didn't immediately return a request for comment.
Though mechanical issues have made major headlines, business is still good for the Dreamliner.
Last week, Boeing Co. showcased the stretched version of the Dreamliner at the Paris Air Show and said it received customer commitments for 102 airplanes.
"I think the strong commitments with a larger Dreamliner at the Paris air show tells me that customers are happy with what they've seen so far with the aircraft," Dihora said.
The airliner is 20 percent more fuel-efficient than the 757 that it replaces.
- United Airlines
- Boeing 787