Boeing Co. said Friday that safety upgrades to the 787 Dreamliner's battery systems may allow commercial flights to restart within weeks, ending a two-month grounding of the composite-plastic fleet.
Changes include installing a new enclosure for the battery, a focus of regulatory probes after a fire on one aircraft and smoke on another, and adjusting the charger, Boeing said in Tokyo. The device will also undergo more rigorous tests, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president Ray Conner said. The improvements will allow the resumption of service once the Federal Aviation Administration signs off, and Air India may lead the way, returning its five jets to flight as soon as April. Boeing would also be able to restart deliveries of the aircraft, for which it has a backlog of more than 800.