Ethiopian Airlines backs Boeing Dreamliner with orders

An Ethiopian Airlines Dreamliner jet is pictured ahead of its take off at Addis Ababa's Bole International Airport.
Image caption The airline is one of the biggest in Africa

Ethiopian Airlines. which saw one of its Boeing 787 Dreamliners catch fire in London last month, has expressed confidence in the plane and will proceed with an order for eight more.

The fire happened while the aircraft was parked at Heathrow Airport.

It was traced to a transmitter, located in the upper rear part of the plane, used to locate aircraft after a crash.

The 787 Dreamliner is considered to be one of the most advanced planes in the industry.

However, the jet has been hit by a string of problems in recent months.

"The airplane is undergoing a challenging time to mature, but it's improving," said Ethiopian Airlines chief executive Tewolde Gebremariam.

"I have strong confidence in this airplane. It is the future in aviation," he told a news conference after the airline announced a near tripling of net profit.

The airline is one of the biggest on the African continent.

In January, the entire 787 fleet was temporarily taken out of service amid safety concerns.

This was after fire broke out in one of Japan Airlines' 787 Dreamliners, and an ANA flight was forced to make an emergency landing because of a battery fault and a fire in one of the electrical compartments.

Japan's ANA said it had found damage to the battery wiring on two 787 locator transmitters during checks.

US carrier United Airlines also found a pinched wire during an inspection of one of its six 787s.

Boeing has since asked airlines to carry out inspections of the transmitters.

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