Has Gatwick's 'plastic plane' been grounded?

The UK launch of the Dreamliner, the so-called plastic plane of the future, is set to be delayed because of continued fears over safety.

Thomson was due to fly its first Boeing 787 from Gatwick in May but delivery of its planes is now on hold.

The first should have arrived in the next two weeks. The airline is the UK launch customer. All 50 of the planes in service have been grounded since a battery fire on a Japanese Airlines flight in Boston last month.

Safety officials in the USA ordered all the Dreamliners to be grounded following safety tests. They will not fly passengers until a solution is found to the problem.

A test flight took place over the weekend but the issue remains unresolved. Experts say a solution could be months away.

The Dreamliner was developed at Farnborough and many components are built in the region supporting thousands of jobs.

Airlines have placed orders for more than 800 of the planes. Made from a composite of plastic and carbon they burn less fuel.

Inside windows are twice as big and the planes have more space. A new air system is aimed at reducing jet lag. Thomson has launched an advertising campaign calling the 787 the "future of long-haul travel".

Advertisement

Dreamliner delays at Gatwick

The UK launch of the Dreamliner, the so-called plastic plane of the future, is set to be delayed because of continued fears over safety.