News / Africa

Passenger Enjoys Return of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner

Ethiopian Airliner 787 Dreamliner prepare to take off from Addis Ababa, April 27, 2013. Ethiopian Airliner 787 Dreamliner prepare to take off from Addis Ababa, April 27, 2013.
Ethiopian Airliner 787 Dreamliner prepare to take off from Addis Ababa, April 27, 2013.
Ethiopian Airliner 787 Dreamliner prepare to take off from Addis Ababa, April 27, 2013.
James Butty
Ethiopian Airlines over the weekend became the world’s first carrier to resume flying Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, since it was grounded in January with battery problems.

Stella Sabiiti, an international peace and security consultant with the African Union Commission for Peace and Security, was a passenger aboard a 787 flight from Nairobi to Addis Ababa.

Sabiiti said it was smooth and gentle. 

“It was one of the smoothest flights I have ever been on.  The takeoff was so smooth, so gentle.  Mid-air, we flew very well, very comfortably, and the landing was just as smooth as the side of a little baby,” she said.

Sabiiti said she had no idea she would be flying on the Dreamliner.

“No, I didn’t know, but the whole morning I was listening to the radio, and I was following events about the Dreamliner testing its flight, and I was thinking, ‘Well, good to those people.’ And, the news was unfolding very slowly, every half hour, every hour.  Eventually, I heard something like Ethiopian Airlines from Addis [Ababa] to Nairobi, and it took time to sink in.  Then, I realized, ‘Oh my, that’s the flight that will take me back from Nairobi to Addis, so I’ll be on the Dreamliner,’” Sabiiti said.

The Ethiopian flight was the first since regulators grounded the Dreamliner in January after two battery warnings on two separate planes.  The battery faults raised fears of a possible mid-air fire.
Butty interview with Sabiiti
Butty interview with Sabiitii
|| 0:00:00

Sabiiti said she offered a little prayer when she learned she would be flying on the Dreamliner.

“At first, I was thankful I would be on that flight.  Then, after a few hours, I realized I would on that flight.  So, I prayed for myself, as well as whom else would be on that flight.  And, as we were boarding, we were joking with strangers.  We didn’t know each other, but we were making jokes,” Sabiiti said.

She said the jet was being highly photographed by passengers and television crews.

Sabiiti also said she likes the inside of the jet, particularly the windows which can change colors with the push of a button.

“It’s beautiful, especially it’s wide inside, and it’s quite long and it’s high. But, what I love most about it are the windows. They change colors. You just press a button and it becomes dark blue, then you press the button and it becomes light.  Everything is so smooth, everything is so automatic.  But, I think also the air [in the cabin] is very user friendly.  You don’t feel the dryness on the plane,” Sabiiti said.

You May Like

Photogallery Belgian Security Measures Foreshadow New Normal for Europe

Rising threat of terrorism, disaffected Muslim populations and open borders, along with refugee, migrant crisis, are creating perfect storm for Europe, which some analysts fear continent is ill-suited to weather

Competing Claims of Responsibility for Mali Hotel Attack

Malian authorities ask public for help in identifying gunmen killed in attack, amid conflicting claims of responsibility from multiple jihadist groups active in the country

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Boeing
April 29, 2013 3:03 PM
dreamliner is over the top.

by: PlayFair3 from: United States
April 29, 2013 7:00 AM
Let's hope that 787 battery fix is a good one. The FAA furloughed all of their Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASI) who, on the behalf of the American traveling public, are the professionals that are (were?) supposed to make sure it works and keeps working during actual passenger operations – not just on some workbench. Honestly, you can't script this stuff. Just like control towers and controllers each of these inspectors is in place because risks have been identified to exist without them. ASIs perform 750,000 safety inspections each year. Furloughs now have the potential to reduce that number by more than 35,000 safety inspections in just the next 5 months. Think about that the next time you’re driving to the airport.

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs