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Boeing CEO confident that 787 battery fix will work

Boeing CEO Jim McNerney waits to be introduced to speak, in front of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner under construction as U.S. President Barack Oba
Boeing CEO Jim McNerney waits to be introduced to speak, in front of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner under construction as U.S. President Barack Oba

(Reuters) - Boeing Co has high confidence the proposed fix for the lithium-ion batteries on its grounded 787 passenger jet will work, Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney said on Thursday.

The grounding has been a "frustrating experience," McNerney told a U.S. Chamber of Commerce aviation summit. (For event video, click: http://link.reuters.com/juf96t )

Regulators grounded the 787 on January 16 after separate battery incidents on planes in Boston and Japan. That grounding has already cost the company an estimated $450 million in lost income and compensation payments to airlines.

Boeing is now running test flights to prove the safety of its new battery system. McNerney said he expected the plane to be in service "sooner rather than later," though he was not more specific.

Shares of Boeing fell 0.5 percent to $85.76 in morning trading. The stock is up 16 percent since the plane was grounded, most of which came over the last month as the 787 moved closer to flying again.

(Reporting by Alwyn Scott; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Lisa Von Ahn)

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