by Sun Xiaozheng
TOKYO, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Japan on Thursday ordered all Japanese airlines to ground their Boeing 787 fleet until the safety of the dreamliner is assured after one of them operated by All Nippon Airways Co. (ANA) made an emergency landing on Wednesday.
The decision was made soon after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced Wednesday to temporarily ground all its carriers' Boeing 787 jets.
The FAA insisted airlines would have to demonstrate the lithium ion batteries were safe before they could resume flying. But it did not indicate when that might happen.
It is the first such action against a U.S.-made passenger plane since the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 was grounded in 1979 after a fatal crash in the U.S., reports said.
"Boeing deeply regrets the impact that recent events have had on the operating schedules of our customers," the company said in a statement following the FAA announcement.
"We are confident the 787 is safe and we stand behind its overall integrity. We will be taking every necessary step in the coming days to assure our customers and the traveling public of the 787's safety and to return the airplanes to service," Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Jim McNerney said in the statement.
Meanwhile, Japanese aviation experts continued investigation into the emergency landing Wednesday, which they believed problems related to the aircraft's battery system were the cause of the accident.
A group of U.S. aviation experts is due in Japan on Friday, local media reported.
On Wednesday, an ANA Boeing 787 Dreamliner made an emergency landing at Takamatsu Airport in western Japan, after a pilot smelled an abnormal odor and saw a warning message indicating battery problems in the cockpit while flying from Yamaguchi Ube Airport en route to Tokyo.
The emergency landing came on the heels of series of problems involving the Boeing 787, and has raised safety concerns over the company's new fuel-efficient carbon fiber made model.
"With regard to when to lift (the ban), we will work with the FAA and move in step with it," Japan's vice transport minister Hiroshi Kajiyama told a news conference on Thursday.