AI to start international operations on Dreamliner from 15 Oct
'We plan to operate the first international flight to Frankfurt, from 15 October. This will be followed by other operations to Europe and Japan,' a senior Air India official said.
New Delhi: Air India will start international operations on its newly acquired Boeing 787 Dreamliner from 15 October with flights to Frankfurt, Germany.
"We plan to operate the first international flight to Frankfurt, from 15 October. This will be followed by other operations to Europe and Japan," a senior Air India official told IANS here today.
Earlier, the airline had planned flights to destinations in Australia and south-east Asia. The airline said the previous plans had not materialised as the passenger carrier would have to deploy far more human resource there than in the other sector.
"This will happen after we receive more aircraft and more pilots and crew are trained on the new plane," the official said.
On 19 September, the airline started the first commercial service on the Dreamliner between New Delhi and Chennai, followed by New Delhi-Bangalore.
Air India received the first Dreamliner on 8 September after waiting for four years. The carrier was to get the delivery in May 2008, but that got pushed back due to various reasons, including manufacturing delays.
The aircraft arrived after the cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) approved 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 has become the fifth airline in the world to have the fuel-efficient and eco-friendly aircraft.
The airline will take delivery of the fourth 787 on 20 October and another by the end of this year, followed by seven more in 2013, five in 2014, six in 2015 and three in 2016.
Air India had booked 27 Boeing 787s in 2006 in a mega-deal.
The aircraft is made of composite materials. Its newly-developed engine and advanced flight technologies make it highly fuel-efficient. The plane can fly up to 16,000 km non-stop.
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Air India Ltd is seeking a bridge loan of up to $230 million for taking delivery of two Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft from an ongoing order, according to a tender document on the carrier's website.
With the leaseback of the first lot of seven Dreamliners finalised, Air India has now issued tenders for seven more for which it wants to conclude the process by March, taking the total to 14, the sources said.