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Induction of Dreamliner delayed by 2 weeks

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Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh was to have visited the Seattle plant of American manufacturer Boeing to receive the first Dreamliner for Air India.

This visit is now likely to take place in the second week of June, the sources said.

The prime reason for the delay is said to have been caused by some time-lag in its final certification and mandatory checks which are carried out before delivery, the sources said, adding that "the process is going on now".

While Air India has ordered 27 of these new planes, has placed orders for ten which are likely to be delivered in another four years. The national carrier is expected to get at least three of these airplanes this year.

The long-haul aircraft made of composite materials like carbon fibre, is portrayed as a fuel-efficient plane that would help slash flying costs significantly due to its lighter weight and capacity of non-stop flying.

Industry sources said the ongoing strike by some Air India pilots over issues connected with the training programme for flying the Dreamliner was not likely to affect the imminent deliveries from Boeing's North Charleston and Everett plants.

Boeing has received 896 orders for this aircraft and has so far delivered about 12 of them, mostly to two competing airlines from Japan -- Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) which was the first customer. As of last year, the list price of a Dreamliner 787 was about USD 194 million.


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