Notwithstanding a string of glitches the state-of-the-art aircraft has faced in the recent past, Air India's (AI) 10th Dreamliner flew in here from the Boeing headquarters in Seattle on Wednesday, with Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh on board.
The latest Boeing 787, carrying the call-sign VT-ANG, landed at the IGI Airport at 1:50 pm and was received by AI Chairman & Managing Director Rohit Nandan and Prabhat Kumar, joint secretary in the civil aviation ministry.
Singh was in the US, heading a team of his ministry officials to attend the India-US Aviation Summit. He had a series of meetings with aviation officials, apart from visiting the Boeing headquarters and manufacturing facilities.
The Dreamliner arrived days after one of these suffered cracks in its windshield when it landed in Melbourne, while another had a false alarm shown on its cockpit panel about a problem in the brake system, as it landed under emergency conditions here. Last month, a panel had fallen off an aircraft's belly in Bangalore. AI spokesperson G P Rao said all problems concerning the aircraft, including minor incidents, were being reported to the aircraft manufacturer. A Boeing team was working with the airline's engineering and maintenance team. In the same vein, Boeing's communications & marketing manager, Wilson Chow, said, "Boeing is aware of the in-service issue and we're working with Air India on the matter."
Air India, which has been experiencing trouble with its newly-acquired Boeing 787s almost since it began inducting them late last year, wants to use the new-generation aircraft fleet as the mainstay for rapid expansion of its global network. With this aircraft, Air India now has 10 Boeing 787s, of a total of 27 for which it has placed orders.
The airline, which connects cities like Birmigham, Melbourne and Sydney, plans to have have air links to Rome, Milan and Moscow during this winter season. The planes are also flying on domestic routes like Delhi-Chennai, Delhi-Bangalore and Delhi-Kolkata.