14 Jul 2013

Air NZ Dreamliners different model to Heathrow fire plane

7:23 am on 14 July 2013

Air New Zealand says the 10 Boeing 787 Dreamliners it is to receive next year are a different model from the aircraft that caught fire and closed Heathrow airport on Friday.

The cause and location of the fire on the Ethiopian Airlines plane is not known.

In January, 50 787s were grounded around the world due to overheating problems in their light-weight lithium-ion battery system.

Boeing later modified the jets with new batteries and flights resumed in April.

An Air New Zealand spokesperson said the aircraft at Heathrow airport was a 787-8, which is a different aircraft to the 787-9 that Air New Zealand has on order.

After the fire, Boeing's shares closed 4.7% lower at $US101.87 in New York trading on Friday. Earlier they fell more than 7%.

Aviation commentator Peter Clark said the fire should not be a concern for Air New Zealand.

He said 60 Dreamliners are in service around the world, most of which have not had any problems.