New Delhi. Air India’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner landed in the national capital Sep 8, ending a four-year wait.
The airline is the fifth in the world to receive the fuel-efficient and eco-friendly aircraft. Among its other operators are All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines.
“The first aircraft reached Delhi in the evening and was inspected by the airlines’ chairman. Flight schedule and crew training of the aircraft will be decided soon,” a senior Air India official told IANS.
The aircraft, which had 28 crew members, was given a ceremonial water canon salute.
Air India Chairman and Managing Director Rohit Nandan said the new aircraft will allow the airline to operate on new routes and enable it to save fuel cost.
“The 787 aircraft will allow Air India to open new routes in a dynamic marketplace and provide the best in-flight experience for our passengers,” he said.
The 787 has the range and capability to allow Air India to deploy it on many routes including the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Australia.
The aircraft arrived after the cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) approved the the delay-compensation settlement agreement with Boeing, allowing the civil aviation ministry and the flag carrier to take delivery of 27 Boeing 787 aircraft.
Air India had booked 27 Boeing 787s in 2006 in a mega deal. The carrier was to get the delivery in May 2008, but that got pushed forward for a variety of reasons, including manufacturing delays.
The airline plans to deploy the 787 Dreamliner aircraft on domestic routes to save on fuel, train the crew and add flexibility in its winter schedule by flying out to select domestic and overseas destinations.
© India Strategic