Hopes rose overnight that progress may have been made in resolving the problem which led to the grounding of 50 Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

It emerged that Boeing has sought the permission of the US Federal Aviation Administration to carry out test flights of the new generation twin-jet.

A spokesman for Boeing told the BBC that the firm’s application was “under evaluation” by the FAA.

Some analysts said this suggests the manufacturer may be closer to resolving the issue.

All 787s were grounded last month due to an ongoing investigation into battery problems.

A battery on a Japan Airlines 787 caught fire in the US while a malfunction forced an All Nippon Airways flight to make an emergency landing in Japan.

UK launch customers Thomson Airways and British Airways have been awaiting news on when deliveries will be resumed ahead of planned entry into service later this year.

Boeing, which has orders for more than 800 Dreamliners, cancelled all deliveries in the wake of the battery problems.