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Dan Catchpole | dcatchpole@heraldnet.com
Published: Tuesday, January 8, 2013, 10:33 a.m.

More on Dreamliner fire, Boeing stock and the 787 in China

How are airlines reacting to the fire that broke out yesterday on a Boeing Co. 787 in Boston?

So far, it looks like business as usual for most airlines operating 787s.

Japan Airlines' flight between Boston and Tokyo using a 787 is scheduled as usual this morning. The flight was canceled yesterday after the fire.

Update: Just before it was to take off in Boston, today's 787 flight to Tokyo was delayed because the plane, a different aircraft, was leaking fuel.

Japan's All Nippon Airways has more 787s in its fleet -- 17 as of Dec. 31 -- as the launch customer of the Dreamliner. An ANA spokeswoman told Bloomberg News the airline isn't doing anything different with its fleet in light of the fire. However, the carrier received instruction from Japan's transport ministry to check all 787s and inspect the jet's batteries.

According to FlightAware, several 787s are in the air, many on long-haul flights.

How is Wall Street reacting to the fire?

BB&T Capital Markets has downgraded Boeing's stock to “hold” from “buy.”

BB&T analyst Carter Leake offered these comments for the downgrade:

"The FAA is not likely to take any immediate action," Leake said. "But the 787 has run out of mulligans, and even though this may be an unrelated battery issue, any new electrical event could have the FAA take more drastic measures to include the grounding of the fleet."

Jefferies analyst Howard A. Rubel tends to disagree, telling the Associated Press that the drop in Boeing's shares may be overdone.

Rubel wrote that the decline of over $1 billion in market value "would seem to overstate the worry.”

Leeham Co. analyst Scott Hamilton offered this perspective on the 787 incident, noting that the investigation will determine if there's a design flaw.

Bottom line: when asked whether he'd fly on the 787, Hamilton says he would.

Boeing's stock is down $1.53 to $74.60 in trading Tuesday morning.

Finally, this story was out yesterday before the 787 fire. China's aviation officials haven't signed off on the Dreamliner yet.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China has to give any new jet a airworthiness certificate, like the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency.

Chinese officials told Reuters on Monday that approval process on the 787 “is still in progress.”

Boeing deliveries of 787s to China Southern and Hainan airlines are on hold until the airworthiness certificate is granted.
Story tags » 787

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