The global 787 fleet was grounded from January to April last year after 2 lithium-ion batteries burned out in separate incidents in Japan and the United States.
Airbus had intended to use lithium-ion batteries for the A350 –due to weigh less than traditional power packs-, but switched back to traditional nickel-cadmium in the face of the 787 problems to prevent its own schedule slipping.
Evrard said Airbus had agreed with EASA how to return to the lithium-ion technology and that this would happen in 2016, probably targeted for MSN21 of Qatar Airways.
"We have flown the lithium battery for all development aircraft except the MSN5 and we have accumulated experience in flight," he told reporters, adding he was "absolutely" certain they would be safe. “From the very beginning we were fully aware of the conditions of use, and how we could mitigate any risks to zero.”
Japan's transport authority said last week it was unable to find the root cause of the overheating of a battery on a 787 owned by ANA Holdings in January/2103. Boeing said its reinforced battery system ensures the safety of the 787 Dreamliner.
Based on the article “Airbus wins European approval for its new A350 jet” published in Reuters.