The AI grounded all its six Boeing-787 Dreamliner planes after a directive by FAA on January 17. Sources said the AI had sought permission from the DGCA to fly the Dreamliner as the airline has its maintenance facility in Mumbai and also as they were paying high parking charges in Delhi.
The DGCA had granted it permission with strict orders that no passengers travel on board. "Only the two pilots were allowed inside the planes," a DGCA official said.
The grounding of the Dreamliner is a setback for the AI as the aircraft is central to its turnaround plans. Regulators around the world followed the lead of the FAA in ordering an indefinite halt to all Dreamliner operations.
After a battery fire incident in Japan on a Dreamliner on Wednesday, the FAA, which sets the benchmark for aviation standards, issued an emergency airworthiness directive to address the problem requiring all "operators to temporarily cease operations".