Norwegian airline to check second 787, ILFC pressures Boeing

Reuters

* Carrier aims to bring grounded plane back next week

* Second jet to have precautionary checks

* Lessor ILFC urges Boeing to halt 787 glitches

OSLO, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Budget airline Norwegian Air Shuttle plans to take its second Boeing Dreamliner outof operation for precautionary checks after repeated hydraulicand electrical faults led to the grounding of its other one.

The carrier said on Wednesday the second Dreamliner had hadfewer problems than the other plane and the move was more aprecautionary measure. It expects the checks to take place oncethe grounded jet is back in service, probably late next week.

The move came as one of Boeing's largest customers, whichowns the two jets and rents them to Norwegian for a fee, threwits weight behind the airline in a row over 787 reliability.

"It's got to improve: it can't keep doing what it has beendoing and it has been very frustrating," Henri Courpron, chiefexecutive of Los Angeles-based International Lease Finance Corp, told Reuters during an aviation event in Barcelona.

"Norwegian have launched their wide-body operation on theback of the 787 order and it is very difficult for an airline tostart a new product in a new market if the airplane is not asreliable as you would like."

The Dreamliner was supposed to be a game changer for theaviation industry as its light weight body and sophisticatedengines cut fuel consumption by 20 percent.

But it has been beset by problems, including a battery firethat grounded the model for months this year and forced Boeingto come up with a new battery design.

Norwegian Air grounded one of its two Dreamliners on Sept.28, asking Boeing for repairs after repeated faults in its firstmonth of operation left passengers stranded in cities around theworld including Bangkok and New York.

"Boeing has gone through the plane completely and made allthe necessary improvements," spokeswoman Charlotte HolmberghJacobsson said of the grounded plane. "We aim to have it back inoperation towards the end of next week."

Contrary to previous plans to test the plane on shorterroutes, Norwegian Air will put the repaired jet immediately intolong-haul service, she said.

Boeing said it expected checks on the second plane wouldtake several days.

The Dreamliners are central to Norwegian Air's plans to rampup its long haul operations to Asia and North America. Itexpects to have another six of the planes by 2015.

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