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posted: 7/13/2013 5:00 AM

Aircraft with problems still in high demand

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A recent Business section article reported that United Airlines has canceled flights of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner aircraft four times as often as the rest of its fleet, telling us that the new jets remain prone to breakdowns. Among the problems highlighted were a flight to Tokyo from Denver that was forced to make an emergency landing in Seattle because of an "oil filter warning" and a flight from Houston to Denver that had to turn around for an emergency landing for a "brake-indicator issue."

It is also reported that Japan scrapped flights with the 787's last month for "computer failure, balky engine and trouble with the anti-icing system." A former airline executive compares it with "buying a new car and having to return to the dealer a week later for a minor thing," but also says if you have to keep going back week after week, it is a problem.

However, in spite of all of the above, the article states that United is very pleased with the 787 even as the jet "suffers teething pains." I'd say it is a little more serious than "teething pains."

Then it goes on to say that the 787 has the highest customer satisfaction scores of any plane in United's fleet and that Boeing is continuing to fill order backlogs for more than 800. What is it that I am missing here? Seems to me there are a lot of mixed messages.

Florence Smith

Mount Prospect

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