The Boeing 787 was originally grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in January due to incidents with the aircraft’s lithium-ion battery systems.
The aircraft offered a luxury nonstop trip between Denver International Airport and Narita International Airport. The plane’s structure and design was chosen for this route as it would be the most economic choice due to capacity and fuel range. To operate the Boeing 787, even in May, the airlines will need approval by the FAA.
When announced, this new service route was hailed as an economic benefit to the Denver-metro area, said to generate 1,500 new jobs and bring in $132 million in revenue.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said in a prepared statement, “United Airlines, the City and County of Denver and all of our partners remain committed to the long-term success of this new nonstop flight. Because of the boundless economic-development opportunities it will create, the service carries great value to Denver, the metro area and all of Colorado. Together, we look forward to the doors it will open to the global marketplace.”
United is working with customers to reschedule or fly passengers through other airlines. All Nippon Airways, the Japanese service using 17 Boeing 787s is handling 1,887 flight cancellations through March 30.