United To Restart Dreamliner Flights – But Is It Ready?

United Airlines will send Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” flights back to the skies on May 20. USA Today is reporting this date has been pushed up nearly two weeks earlier than the airline’s original plans, which would have restarted flights on May 31.

In case you haven’t heard, all 50 of these state-of-the-art jets were grounded by safety regulators earlier this year because of overheating concerns on the aircraft’s lithium-ion batteries. The grounding hit airlines hard, causing snags in proposed routes and forcing some airlines to lease planes. The St. Louis Business Journal reports Qatar Airways alone lost $200 million in revenue because of the incident.

Although investigators have not found the root cause of the problem, the Federal Aviation Administration officially approved Boeing’s proposed short-term fix for the problem late last month, setting the wheels in motion for the return of passenger flights. Ethiopian Airlines and Qatar Airways have both already resumed Boeing 787 flights, and so far everything seems to have gone along without a hitch, but we’re wondering if the billions of dollars that have already been invested in the planes have caused things to be pushed along a little too quickly.

United will kick off Boing 787 service in the U.S. during an 11 a.m. CT departure from Houston to Chicago O’Hare. Would you book a flight knowing it’s going to be on a Dreamliner, or will you wait a little to see how things pan out?

[Photo credit: Dave Sizer / Wikimedia Commons]

Archeological adventures in East Africa

Ethiopian Airlines has teamed up with the Tanzanian Tourist Board to offer a unique travel experience to East Africa, in which travelers will go on an archeological adventure that will send them in search of the Lost Ark and to the depths of the Olduvai Gorge, believed to be the “Cradle of Mankind”.

The eleven-day journey begins in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, and quickly moves to the ancient city of Axum, rumored to be the final resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. Legend has it that the holy relic was brought there by the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon thousands of years ago, and that it remains in an isolated chapel to this day. While in Ethiopia, travelers will also visit Lalibela, the site of 12 churches craved out of the very rock itself.

After exploring the mysteries of Ethiopia, the adventure will continue in Tanzania, with a visit to the Ngorongoro Crater and the Olduvai Gorge, home to the first humans and the very spot where the first humanoid skull was found 50 years ago. The journey will finish up with a Serengeti safari before travelers return home.

To find out more about this amazing trip, visit www.seeyouinethiopia.com/archeology. This special tour, which includes all transporation and accomodations, is offered for a limited time only.