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HindustanTimes Wed,30 Jul 2014

Aviation

No reviewing of Dreamliner order: Ajit Singh
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, January 18, 2013
First Published: 23:16 IST(18/1/2013)
Last Updated: 02:05 IST(19/1/2013)

Aviation minister Ajit Singh has ruled out any move to review the order for 27 Boeing 787 Dreamliners placed by Air India (AI) out of which six have been delivered so far.

"We will not rush into anything. First let us get some clarity. Boeing has over 800 planes on order," he said. The minister said they would wait to hear from FAA and Boeing on what the problem is with the aircraft and what replacements are needed.

Operators of 787s across the world, including AI, have grounded the plane after a directive by US aviation regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

"I am sure this (grounding) will entitle AI to some reimbursement," the minister said. But, he added, this can be discussed with Boeing when the time comes.

AI is expecting an interim report from the manufacturer. "We expect at least a preliminary report from the manufacturer and FAA in a couple of days," an AI official said. Once a report is received, AI and along with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will decide on the corrective measures.

The grounding of the Dreamliner is a setback for AI. AI has deployed the Dreamliner on three international routes - Paris, Frankfurt and Dubai - in addition to domestic sectors.

"We were getting good business as there was huge demand for the Dreamliner. This incident might create a safety scare, which could hit business," a senior official said.

"If the grounding is prolonged, pilots will have to be re-trained on another aircraft, which would create a mess."

The aircraft has turned the fortunes for AI on sectors like Delhi-Frankfurt, which not so long ago were bleeding the carrier but have turned cash-positive since its deployment.


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