Air India confident of Boeing-787 induction by year-end


New Delhi: National carrier Air India Sunday said that it is confident of inducting the Boeing-787 Dreamliner, that was here on a demonstration flight, by year-end.

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“We now know its a Dreamliner and not a dream after the demo,” quipped B.S. Baliga, Air India’s general manager for engineering and quality departments.

According to Baliga, the confidence quotient in the aircraft has risen after it arrived here and was inspected by senior civil aviation ministry and airline officials.

“The ministry and airline officials have inspected the aircraft. The inspection was not meant to get any data or verifying, but was conducted so that everyone can get the look and feel of the aircraft,” Baliga said.

The national carrier would welcome passengers on the new state-of-the-art and fuel-efficient B-787 by the year-end.

Air India had earlier started negotiations with the US aerospace major Boeing for securing compensation for the delay in deliveries of the 27 Dreamliner aircraft that it had ordered in 2006, some of which should have joined the fleet by now.

A committee formed under E.K. Bharat Bhushan, who heads the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, is also looking into the issue of delayed deliveries.

Air India has booked 27 Boeing B-787s in 2006 in a mega deal for 68 aircraft from Boeing. Of these, 50 were for its own fleet and 18 for its low-cost subsidiary Air India Express that flies on short-haul international routes.

The Indian flag carrier will be the second airline in the world to fly the B-787, considered to be one of the most anticipated and state-of-the-art airplanes in the world. Around 800 aircraft have been ordered worldwide.