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B787 Dreamliner misses maiden voyage in China

(Shanghai Daily)

08:18, June 07, 2013

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner run by China Southern Airlines arrives in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, June 2, 2013. This was the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner obtained by China. (Xinhua/Wang Jianhua)

PASSENGERS who bought full-price tickets costing 1,700 yuan (US$277) to experience the world's most cutting-edge passenger aircraft ended up disappointed yesterday after the maiden flight of Boeing 787 Dreamliner in the country had to be canceled over poor visibility in Beijing.

The China Southern Airlines' Dreamliner could not make its maiden commercial flight from Guangzhou to Beijing because regulations require better conditions for the first flight of a plane new to the country, the airline said. The Guangzhou-based carrier took delivery of the B787 on Sunday.

Instead, an Airbus 330 was used for Flight CZ3103/CZ3100, which was delayed for two hours past its original noon departure time. The airline did not mention whether any of the ticket-holders would get discounts or compensation.

"The airline has offered free flight changing services and fully apologized to the passengers who couldn't take the B787," the carrier said.

Some passengers said they'd heard a rumor that some malfunction was detected on the Dreamliner, an aircraft grounded worldwide in January after two incidents on Japanese-owned planes involving overheating of the lithium-ion battery packs. China Southern, however, said it was the weather that caused the plane not to fly.

The B787 has been fitted with the modified battery, which now includes a steel enclosure and other safeguards, Boeing said.

After a revised battery design was approved by aviation authorities in the US, the grounding of B787 was lifted on April 26.

China Southern has ordered a total of 10 Dreamliners and plans to use the aircraft to mainly fly international routes. Air China has ordered 15 of the planes while Hainan Airlines has ordered 10.

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