GE: Air India's 787 problem didn't involve engines

NEW YORK Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:03am IST

Sections of a 787 Dreamliner being built for Air India are seen at Boeing's final assembly building in North Charleston, South Carolina December 19, 2013. REUTERS/Randall Hill/Files

Sections of a 787 Dreamliner being built for Air India are seen at Boeing's final assembly building in North Charleston, South Carolina December 19, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Randall Hill/Files

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - General Electric Co(GE.N) said on Monday a problem reported with a Boeing Co(BA.N) 787 Dreamliner operated by Air India did not involve its aircraft engines, refuting an earlier report.

The report in the Times of India earlier on Monday quoted an Air India official as saying there was a "problem with the engine and some of its blades have broken."

(Dreamliner for India: click for a slideshow here)

A spokesman for GE said later that the problem was not with the GEnx Engine on the plane, but with the ram air turbine, an auxiliary generator used to provide electrical power in emergency situations.

Boeing declined to comment, referring questions to Air India. Air India did not respond to a request for comment.

British aerospace and defense group Rolls-Royce (RR.L) also makes 787 engines, but the Air India fleet uses GE engines exclusively.

The 787 Dreamliner is Boeing's newest and most technologically advanced passenger jet, built with lightweight carbon-fiber composite materials and using electricity to run systems that were powered by pressurized air on older aircraft.

But the 787 has suffered a series of electrical problems, including fires in the batteries and electrical panel. The battery issues prompted regulators to ground the worldwide fleet of 787s for about three months last year.

As of the end of 2013, Air India had 12 Dreamliners, the third-largest airline fleet of 787s after All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines Co with 24 and 13, respectively.

(Reporting by Alwyn Scott and Sumeet Chatterjee)

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