Boeing and the carriers that fly its 787s continue to keep a close watch on 787 Dreamliner jets. A spokeswoman for Boeing said the company was implementing Dreamliner "reliability enhancements," a process she said is "standard for new airplane introductions."
Delta has a $62 million contract with Pennsylvania-based avionics-maker Innovative Solutions & Support to add new cockpits on 182 MD-88 and MD-90 twinjets. The cockpits will include flat-panel displays, dual GPS/wide-area augmentation system receivers and a new flight-management system. The upgrades are expected to result in immediate fuel savings because of the lighter weight of the aircraft and increased NextGen capabilities.
Giovanni Bisignani, former CEO of IATA, says productivity and fuel-efficiency improvements have greatly helped the airline industry. Fuel efficiency throughout the industry has improved 20%, he says. Bisignani says that 10 years ago he could break even with oil at $30 a gallon, and now the industry can break even with oil at $110 per gallon. Electronic ticketing has also helped airlines boost profitability, he says.
United Airlines said it plans to return its Boeing 787s to service next week. Domestic flights from United's Houston hub on the 787 are scheduled to begin May 20. "Our customers responded extremely well when we introduced the 787, and we know they'll welcome it back," Pete McDonald, United's chief operations officer, said in a statement.