Welcome to Boeing’s Dreamliner Nightmare

A near worst-case scenario has come to pass for Boeing (NYSE:BA). The Federal Aviation Administration announced on Wednesday evening that the risk of fire because of battery issues on the 787 Dreamliner requires grounding of the entire U.S.-registered fleet.

How bad is it?FAA

The FAA’s decision to issue an emergency airworthiness directive came immediately after an in-flight battery issue forced the grounding of a 787 flight in Japan.

“The AD is prompted by this second incident involving a lithium ion battery. The battery failures resulted in release of flammable electrolytes, heat damage, and smoke on two Model 787 airplanes. The root cause of these failures is currently under investigation. These conditions, if not corrected, could result in damage to critical systems and structures, and the potential for fire in the electrical compartment,” the FAA said in a statement.

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The regulator’s decision comes just a few days after it announced a formal review of the aircraft, and echoes the decision of other nations to ground their fleets of 787 Dreamliners…

Reuters reports that airlines in Europe, Qatar, India, and Japan have grounded Dreamliners to investigate the battery issue. Boeing has delivered 49 of the aircraft so far. Here’s a rundown of who has received deliveries:

Airline Ordered Delivered
Air India 27 5
All Nippon Airways 66 17
Ethiopian Airlines 10 4
Japan Airlines 45 7
LAN Airlines 26 3
LOT Polish Airlines 8 2
Qatar Airways 30 5
United Air Lines 50 6

It’s unclear what effect this ordeal will have on carriers such as United Air Lines (NYSE:UAL). Major media outlets are already reporting that would-be travelers are expressing their intent not to fly on the aircraft.

The battery problems could also put the breaks on Boeing’s production of the aircraft as it reviews its manufacturing process. The company had hoped to double its production per month this year.

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