Qatar Dreamliner returns to service after 10-day hiatus

Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:44pm EDT
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By Natalia Drozdiak and Regan Doherty

FRANKFURT/DOHA (Reuters) - A Qatar Airways 787 Dreamliner grounded last week amid reports of a problem with an electrical panel in the aircraft has resumed flying, the airline said on Wednesday.

The jet, known as A7-BCB, landed in Frankfurt 20 minutes behind schedule at 2:00 pm (8:00 a.m. EDT) after an almost six-hour flight from Doha, and passengers reported a normal flight.

"Everything was totally fine except for the lateness. They didn't tell us anything about any technical problems," said an elderly female passenger, who declined to give her name.

"They just said the lateness was due to other planes and that this plane is the best of its kind out there."

Attention has focused on the fuel-saving aircraft's unusually long 10-day downtime after a string of technical glitches affecting Boeing's state-of-the-art passenger jet.

Last week, Qatar Airways said the jet was out of service for what it described as a "minor" technical issue. It said the aircraft had not caught fire.

Two people familiar with the matter, asking not to be identified, said smoke had been reported near an electrical compartment, while the jet was on the ground in Doha.

A fire in a similar electrical bay during a test flight in 2010 prompted an emergency landing and caused "substantial damage" to the aircraft, according to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.   Continued...