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Monday
May202013

Boeing 787 Returns to US Skies

Duncan Chard/Bloomberg via Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- United Airlines flight #1 from Houston to Chicago arrived in the Windy City on Monday with a new battery and an effort by Boeing to repair its image.

The Dreamliner became a nightmare 114 days ago, when the entire fleet was grounded after two separate incidents in which lithium-ion batteries failed in a smokey mess that left engineers puzzled.

Boeing re-built the battery, encased it in stainless steel, and got the Federal Aviation Administration to sign off on the fix for the 50 aircraft in operation.

On Monday, United Airlines, the only U.S. carrier with 787s, returned the Dreamliner to flight with the Boeing and airline's CEOs on board. "It's absolutely safe," Boeing CEO James McNerney told ABC News on the flight.

United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek says he is excited to get the aircraft back in service, but kidded his Boeing colleague. "It's an expensive piece of art to keep on the ground," Smisek said.

Boeing had expected to deliver 60 Dreamliners this year. So far only two have been handed over to airlines. The airlines are asking Boeing to reimburse them for some of the cost of keeping the jets on the ground while the battery issue was fixed.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio