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Japan's ANA grounds Dreamliner fleet until May

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Japan's All Nippon Airways said Monday it was grounding its fleet of Dreamliners until at least the end of May, with no end in sight to woes for Boeing's next generation plane.

The airline is cancelling 1,714 flights in April and May, a period that includes Japan's busy Golden Week holidays, taking the total affected to more than 3,600 since the Dreamliner was grounded in January.

Of the newly-announced cancellations, 1,250 are domestic and 464 are international flights, including those bound for Seoul, Seattle and Frankfurt.

"Unfortunately, it includes Golden Week, but we have decided to inform our customers in advance as the prospect for their resumption is still unseen," a company spokeswoman said.

ANA is Boeing's biggest Dreamliner customer so far, with 17 of the world's 50 operational 787s.

The next-generation aircraft has suffered a series of glitches culminating in a global alert from the US Federal Aviation Administration after two incidents involving the battery packs.

All operational 787s were grounded in January after smoke was detected mid-air on a flight in Japan. That incident came just days after the lithium-ion battery caught fire when a Japan Airlines-operated plane was parked at a US airport.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130225/japans-ana-grounds-dreamliner-fleet-until-may