Boeing CEO Jim McNerney said his company is very close to getting its troubled 787 Dreamliner jet flying again.
Two incidents involving batteries on 787s led the Federal Aviation Administration and regulators in other countries to ground the planes in January. Boeing is testing a redesign of the battery system.
The Chicago company conducted a test flight with the redesigned battery Monday. McNerney expects the tests to conclude in a few days and said the data should be conclusive enough to convince regulators to let the plane fly again.
He called the grounding a frustrating experience but said regulators are putting safety first.
Airline mergers aid industry: United CEO
United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek thinks the airline business is transforming into a profitable industry, thanks to fewer flights and higher fares.
Mergers have helped bring rationality to the market, Smisek told an aviation conference Thursday. For far too long, he said, too many airlines were chasing too few passengers.
I’ve been in the industry for 18 years and this is the first time that I have hope for this business, he said.
In the past few years, United and Continental have merged. So have Delta and Northwest, Southwest and AirTran and now American and US Airways.
Smisek used his speech at an aviation summit hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to repeat many of the top talking points of his industry’s lobbying group, Airlines for America, which is pushing a national airline policy.
The message: Airlines still face too many taxes, not enough support from the government and could benefit from a modern air traffic control system.
AT&T readies for Galaxy S 4 orders
AT&T says it will start taking preorders for the Samsung Galaxy S 4, the season’s most eagerly awaited smartphone, on April 16 for $250.
The amount is $50 above the usual introductory price for high-end smartphones.
AT&T didn’t say when the phone will go on sale in stores, or when the pre-orders will be delivered, but preorders usually start a week or two before deliveries.
The S 4 is the successor to the Galaxy S III, which has been the biggest competitor to Apple’s iPhone. AT&T is the first U.S. carrier to announce a price and preorder date, but others have said they’ll sell the phone.
British carriers started taking preorders on Thursday.
The Galaxy S 4 comes with a slightly bigger screen, a larger battery and a faster processor.
Swiss Re settles feud with Berkshire firm
Swiss Re Ltd., the world’s second-biggest reinsurer, says it has settled a dispute with Warren Buffet’s firm Berkshire Hathaway, in a deal that will boost the Swiss company’s profits in the first quarter.
The Zurich group says Berkshire Hathaway has agreed to pay $610 million so Swiss Re will take back some risks under a 2010 deal. Reinsurance involves one company agreeing to share a large insurance risk with another company and to pay part of any loss.
Swiss Re said Thursday that the payment involving the group of renewable term-life policies sold in the U.S. before 2004 and several other factors would pad its first-quarter profits by about $100 million.