'Dreamliner' nightmare continues: 787 catches fire in London

The incident follows a three-month grounding of the Dreamliner airplane by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after a series of battery failures earlier this year, including one that sparked an electrical fire.

Boeing said on Friday that it was monitoring the situation in London.

"We’re aware of the 787 event @HeathrowAirport and have Boeing personnel there. We're working to fully understand and address this," the company tweeted.

Boeing has maintained that the 787 has always been safe to fly. The company issued a fix for its battery issues that was approved by the FAA in April.

The 787 has had a turbulent introduction since its rollout last year. Prior to its grounding, the Dreamliner was touted as a revolutionary airplane, in part because of its use of lithium-ion batteries to reduce energy consumption during flights.

Ethiopian Airlines has previously touted being the first African airline to fly to the 787.

The company said that the Dreamliner that caught on fire had been stationary overnight before the incident on Friday. The airline also defended its safety record.

"Today on Friday, 12 July 2013, smoke was detected from Ethiopian Airlines B787 aircraft with registration number ET-AOP, which was parked at London Heathrow airport for more than eight hours," the company said in a statement. "The aircraft was empty when the incident was observed. The cause of the incident is under investigation by all concerned. Ethiopian is a multi-award winning airline and a member of Star Alliance since 2011 registering an average growth of 25 percent in the past seven years." 

-This story was updated with new information at 3:06 p.m.