Almost one in 10 travel agents say they wouldn't be happy to fly on the world's newest aircraft which was supposed to revolutionise air travel, providing customers with a more comfortable flight and eliminating jet lag.
The new Boeing 787, known as the Dreamliner, has been grounded for three weeks following a series of technical glitches, the most serious of which were two fires, the cause of which have yet to be identified.
Thomson is due to take delivery of the first of eight Boeing 787 Dreamliners it has ordered later this month, but when TravelMole asked agents if they would be happy to fly on the aircraft almost 10% said 'no'.
Just over 90% of agents said they WOULD still be happy to travel on the 787, but if almost 10% have no confidence in the aircraft it could lead to agents switching passengers to other carriers.
Thomson, the first UK airline to order the aircraft, is planning to put it into service on flights to Mexico and Florida from May 1 after carrying out several training flights to Europe over the spring.
British Airways has ordered 24 787s, the first of which was due for delivery in May.
However, Boeing has ceased deliveries of all new 787s until a fault that caused fires on two aircraft has been identified and remedied. No-one was injured in the fires, which were confined to the aircraft electrical base, but the fault prompted the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) in the US to order all 787s already in service to be grounded.
Boeing has since requested the FAA's permission to resume flight testing of the 787 to further investigate a battery problem that is believed to be the source of the fires. Investigators have found evidence of a short circuit in a battery cell.
The manufacturer is continuing production of the new aircraft, but it has not told airlines when to expect them.
A spokesperson for Thomson said: "Thomson Airways is still working towards flying our first commercial Dreamliner on the 1 May 2013. We understand Boeing is doing everything possible to assist the FAA in its investigation and to get the aircraft back into service as soon as possible."
By Linsey McNeill
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
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