Dreamliner grounding leaves airlines with uncertainties

As a result, Boeing has not faced any major defection from the airlines, which have around 800 787s on order. United has six of the planes now and two more scheduled for delivery later this year.

"History teaches us that all new aircraft have issues, and the 787 is no different. We continue to have confidence in the aircraft and in Boeing's ability to fix the issues," said Smisek.

But there have been some dissonant voices. Officials with Poland's national carrier, LOT, have said they will seek monetary compensation from Boeing.

Other operators of 787s are Air India, Ethiopian Airlines, LAN Airlines of Chile and Qatar Airways.

The battery problems have already created buzz on online forums. One comment, on the Cranky Flier blog, noted: "Let somebody else play the guinea pig for a while first. When commercial airlines manage to operate 787 flights on a daily basis for a month or two without significant mishap, then I'll consider it safe."

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