landing in New Orleans on Tuesday after experiencing a mechanical problem on a flight from Houston to Newark, N.J.
The pilots of Flight 1146 declared an emergency while in the air. When the plane landed safely around 9:25 a.m. CDT, fire trucks were on the runway, a standard procedure.
Initial inspections showed that there was no fire in the aft electrical equipment bay, where the problem was reported, and no sign of electrical "arcing," or electricity flowing incorrectly, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Boeing Co is ramping up production of the 787 to help reduce a backlog of 838 orders worth more than $173 billion.
While concerns about its safety could affect passenger perceptions and raise issues with deliveries to other airlines, analysts said flight diversions are not unusual, especially with new aircraft.
"These are the typical growing pains one would expect with a new airplane as it enters service," said Carter Leake, a former military and commercial pilot who is now an analyst with BB&T Capital Markets. "No conclusions can be drawn."
United said the problem occurred with its third 787, delivered on Nov. 27. The airline, which is due to receive two more 787s this month put the passengers on other flights to Newark.
"At this point, we're just looking at this specific plane, not the fleet," said Christen David, a United spokeswoman.
United is the first U.S. airline to put the new carbon-composite 787 into service and flew its first commercial flight with the new jet on Nov. 4.
Shares of ANA dipped 1.1 percent in Tokyo with JAL down 0.1 in line with the benchmark Nikkei 225 index.
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