Heathrow delays now 'minimal' following Dreamliner fire

Heathrow delays now 'minimal' following Dreamliner fire

Heathrow was operating close to normal today following disruption due to a fire aboard an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 yesterday afternoon.

A spokeswoman for Heathrow reported delays to departures averaging 10 minutes this morning, which she described as “well within normal limits”.

A small number of British Airways flights were cancelled on Saturday as result of aircraft and crew being in the wrong place following cancellations yesterday.

Heathrow had to close both runways for a period on Friday while firefighters attended the Ethiopian Airlines 787 parked on a stand.

No passengers were aboard and investigators have yet to report the source of the fire. However, the incident followed fires in the batteries of Dreamliners operated by ANA and Japan Airlines which led to the aircraft’s grounding between January and April this year.

Heathrow reported 88 arrivals and departures cancelled yesterday out of 1,300 planned to operate and said the only issue now was re-booking passengers “who couldn’t get away yesterday”.

The airport continued to advise passengers to check with their airline before travelling to Heathrow on Saturday.

BA operates more than half the flights to and from Heathrow and reported “a handful of cancellations” because of aircraft and crew out of position.

A BA spokesman said: “It’s nothing major. The biggest problem today is the heat. It is an extremely busy time of year. Our [passenger] loads this weekend are enormous.”

BA took delivery of its first two Boeing 787s last month and is due to begin operating Dreamliner services from Heathrow and Toronto on September 1.

The spokesman said the latest fire aboard a 787 would not affect its plans.

He said: “We are still taking delivery of our 787s. We have every intention of putting them into service from September 1.”

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