China clears Boeing 787s for nation's airlines

Chinese regulators have approved the Boeing 787 to fly in the country, Boeing said Thursday, a move that opens up a large potential market to the US aerospace giant.

"I can confirm that the Civil Aviation Administration of China has granted type certification for the 787 Dreamliner," a Boeing spokesman said in an email.

Chinese airlines have yet to take delivery of the high-tech 787, which last month was cleared to return to service after all 50 in use were grounded worldwide in mid-January following two overheated battery incidents.

Air China has ordered 15 of the planes, while China Southern Airlines and Hainan Airlines have each ordered 10 planes.

Regulators grounded the planes globally after a battery fire on a 787 parked at a Boston airport and a smoldering battery on another 787 caused smoke and fumes, forcing an emergency landing.

US officials in April cleared the planes to fly following modifications to the plane's lithium-ion batteries, which include replacing them and their chargers with modified components and installing a steel enclosure system to contain any overheating.

United Airlines, the only US carrier that owns 787s, resumed 787 flights on Monday.

Japan's All Nippon Airways, the single biggest operator of the 787, announced Thursday it would put the Dreamliner back into service on Sunday.