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Japanese carriers keep their 787s aloft as they assess Heathrow fire

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese carriers, ANA Holdings <9202.T> and Japan Airlines Co. <9201.T> said Saturday that they will fly their Boeing Co 787 jets as normal as they gather information from the U.S. planemaker on the cause of a fire on one of the carbon composite at Britain's Heathrow airport.

"We are aware of the incident and are checking with Boeing. Operations of our 787s are continuing as normal," said ANA Holdings spokesman, Ryosei Nomura. Owning 20 of the Boeing jets, ANA is the world's biggest operator of the 787.

"As of now 787 operations are normal," Japan Airlines spokesman Hisanori Iizuka said. Engineers at JAL are in contact with Boeing to gather information to help it decide on 787 operations going forward, he added. JAL has eight of the Boeing jets.

It was separate overheating incidents on 787s operated by the Japanese carriers that prompted aviation regulators in the U.S. and elsewhere to ground the plane for more than three months until the U.S. maker was able to win approval for a revamped battery encased in a steel box.

(Reporting by Tim Kelly)

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