State-owned carrier Air India has closed bookings on Boeing Co Dreamliner-operated flights "for the time being" until safety concerns are addressed.
However, the grounding of all six Boeing 787 Dreamliners has not gone down well with flyers who preferred a Boeing 787 flight for its sate-of the-art in-flight entertainment system, flat-bed recline, reading lamps, large LCD screens and enhanced gaseous filtration system ( the cabin in the aircraft is pressurised to a match a maximum of 6,000 feet as compared to 8,000 feet in other aircraft) that lessens dizziness and headache inside the aircraft.
According to a report in the Times of India, passengers in Chennai who were earlier scheduled to fly on a 787 were disappointed when they were briefed about the grounding since it meant no wide windows, no better leg room or in-flight entertainment.
A CNN report suggests a Boeing 787 flight is 60 percent less noisy that other aircraft, and at 18 inches, the windows too are larger and give you a clearer view outside. What's even better is thestowage bin, which is 30 percent larger than its other aircraft, and allows each passengers to store at least one large bag in an overhead compartment. Little wonder that it scored brownie points with Indian fliers.
Interestingly, this loyalty to Boeing is not India specific. A CNBC report suggests that 57 Boeing customers, including Australia's Qantas, British Airways and Singapore Airlines,which have ordered a Dreamliner have reaffirmed their plans to wait for the 787 despite the delay.
Perhaps the promise of new, fuel efficient planes is worth the wait.
Even India is not rethinking its $4-billion order for 27 Dreamliners, placed in 2005 though it will seek compensation from US giant Boeing. Air India and Boeing had earlier concluded negotiations in compensation over a four-year delay in delivery of the Dreamliner to India because of production problems at the company.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded all US-registered Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft on Wednesday to address the potential battery fire risk and issued a security advisory alerting international aviation authorities.
The 27 Dreamliners are part of a total 111 planes ordered by Air India from Boeing and Airbus to rejuvenate its aeging fleet and turn around the airline's loss-making operations.
Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 16:09:31 IST