Oct. 10, 2013 at 8:12 AM ET
Two Boeing 787 Dreamliners operated by Japan Airlines had to turn back mid-flight in the space of 24 hours because of technical problems -- the latest in a series of glitches for the troubled aircraft.
The airline said one Tokyo-bound 787 carrying 141 passengers had to turn back to Moscow on Thursday because of a problem with the its toilets, Reuters reported.
Spokesman Takuya Shimoguchi said the malfunction had probably been caused by an electronic glitch and that the airline was working on repairs on the ground.
On Wednesday, another Japan Airlines plane had to turn back to San Diego just hours into a flight to Tokyo because of a possible problem with its de-icing system, the airline said.
Budget airline Norwegian Air Shuttle announced Wednesday it was going to take its second Dreamliner out of operation “as a precaution” after hydraulic and electrical faults grounded its other 787, according to Reuters.
One of Boeing’s largest industry customers, which owns the two 787s leased to Norwegian Air Shuttle, urged the manufacturer to resolve the faults.
"It's got to improve. It can't keep doing what it has been doing and it has been very frustrating," Henri Courpron, the chief executive of Los Angeles-based International Lease Finance Corp, told Reuters at an aviation event in Barcelona.
"Norwegian have launched their wide-body operation on the back of the 787 order and it is very difficult for an airline to start a new product in a new market if the airplane is not as reliable as you would like."
Once touted as a significant moment in the aviation industry, the Dreamliner has been beset by problems since its delivery in 2011.
All Nippon Airways (ANA) received its first 787 in September that year after construction and testing were plagued by problems including stabilizer issues, an engine blowout, and an electrical fire during a test flight over Texas.
These woes continued into the plane’s commercial service, with a series of fires and fuel leaks reported by several airlines over the past year.
The most notable problem was the overheating lithium-ion battery systems which caused the 787 to be grounded for three months while Boeing redesigned them.
Reuters contributed to this report.