TOKYO: A senior Boeing executive said Thursday he and Japanese government officials had discussed a "permanent" solution to fix problems that have dogged the grounded Dreamliner.
Raymond Conner, executive vice president of Boeing and head of commercial aeroplanes said that they would not abandon the lithium-ion batteries used in the planes, which are at the centre of a worldwide safety probe.
He also denied reports that the planemaker was at odds with its battery supplier over how to fix the troubles, saying "we are great partners."
The next generation 787 was ordered out of the skies in January following a series of incidents.
"It is not an interim solution. This is a permanent solution," Conner told reporters after meeting with Japanese transport minister Akihiro Ota to discuss problems that caused one battery to catch fire and another to emit smoke.
Asked if Boeing was considering ditching the Japanese-made lithium-ion batteries from the 787, Conner said: "I see nothing in this technology that would tell us it's the appropriate thing to do."
Conner did not give any details of the curative package for the Dreamliner, saying only that he was "confident" in the plan.
"The solution set that we have put in place provides three layers of protection and we feel that this solution takes into account any possible event that could occur, any causal factor that could cause an event.
"And we are very confident that this fix will be permanent and will allow us to continue with the technology," he said.
Japan's transport ministry said it was the first mission to the country by Boeing's headquarter executives since the Dreamliner fleet was grounded.
The visit came as the Wall Street Journal reported Boeing was in disagreement with GS Yuasa, the Japanese company that makes the lithium-ion batteries.
Boeing last week told the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the US Department of Transportation what it intended to do to remedy problems behind the incidents involving Japanese carriers All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines.
The US aircraft giant, which has bet heavily on its lightweight plane at a time airlines are crying out for ways to slash fuel costs, desperately wants to get it back in the air.
But the paper, citing sources familiar with the matter, said GS Yuasa believes Boeing's package of fixes will not eliminate all possible risks to the power pack.
A probe has found short circuits caused a rapid rise in battery temperatures, but the search for the root of the short circuit has so far proved elusive.
A spokesman for GS Yuasa told AFP the company had no comment on the paper's report.
Tokyo-listed shares in the company were up more than seven percent in afternoon trade following Conner's comments.
The worldwide grounding of all 50 Dreamliners in service has thrown airline schedules into disarray, especially in Japan where ANA, the biggest operator of the plane, has been forced to cancel more than 3,600 flights through to the end of May.
But Conner insisted the plane was still a good bet.
"The 787, which is an aeroplane that we have developed with Japan, is still the game changing aeroplane," Conner said Thursday.
"The performance of the aircraft outside this incident has been good.
It is providing the airlines with the kind of savings that they expected, that we expected, and we are very hopeful that they will get back into the air very soon," he said. (AFP)