Dreamliner warning over 'risk of ice'

Dreamliner warning over 'risk of ice'

A warning about the risk of ice forming on Boeing's new 747-8 and 787 Dreamliners has been issued to 15 airlines.

The issue, which affects some types of engines made by General Electric when aircraft fly near high-level thunderstorms, prompted Japan Airlines (Jal) to cancel two international routes.

There have been six incidents since April when aircraft powered by GE engines lost power at high altitude, the BBC reported.

These are the latest technical issues to hit the Dreamliner which saw the entire fleet being grounded earlier this year following battery problems.

Airlines with Dreamliners powered by General Electric engines include Thomson Airways, Lufthansa, United Airlines, Qatar Airways and Jal.

It says aircraft with the affected engines - GE's GEnx - must not be flown within 50 nautical miles of thunderstorms that may contain ice crystals.

Jal decided to withdraw Dreamliners from service on the Tokyo-Delhi and Tokyo-Singapore routes and drop plans to operate the aircraft between Tokyo and Sydney as a result.

"Boeing and Jal share a commitment to the safety of passengers and crews on board our airplanes. We respect Jal's decision to suspend some 787 services on specific routes," a Boeing spokesman said, according to Reuters.

A GE spokesman told the news agency the aviation industry was experiencing "a growing number of ice-crystal icing encounters in recent years as the population of large commercial airliners has grown, particularly in tropical regions of the world".

He said GE and Boeing were hoping to eliminate the problem by modifying the engine control system software.

British Airways uses Rolls Royce engines on its Dreamliners and they are not affected by the warning.

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