Air India plans to expand its global network using the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which will emerge as the "game changer" for the national carrier, civil aviation minister Ajit Singh said Sunday.
"We are expanding our network with Dreamliners. The B787s will be a game changer for Air india," Singh told PTI here.
"People's response is very positive. The Dreamliners are very fuel efficient, have new technology and are passenger friendly. They would improve our performance," the minister said as the state-of-the-art aircraft took to the skies again last month, after being grounded since January 17 after reporting several battery fire incidents.
Air India has relaunched commercial flight of the Dreamliner between Delhi and London on May 22, and is planning to begin full-scale global operations, with flights from Delhi to Dubai, Paris and Frankfurt by the end of this month, said Air India deputy general manager (corporate communication) G Prasada Rao.
Air India will also connect Delhi with Birmingham and Sydney-Melbourne from August, Rome and Milan from October and Moscow from early next year with its Boeing 787s.
In the domestic sector, commercial flights using Dreamliners have already being launched from Delhi to Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai, Rao said, adding that the airline has received a huge response from the travellers.
Out of the six Boeing 787 planes with Air India, two have been already modified following the battery fire incidents, Rao said. The remaining four Dreamliners would become operational by this month.
Another eight of these aircraft would be delivered by Boeing by December, taking the total to 14. The airline has ordered a total of 27 Dreamliners.
The Air India flight that reached London Sunday was welcomed with a water salute, celebrating 65 years of service to London by the national carrier of India.
The Boeing 787s were grounded worldwide since January 17 after a fire in the lithium-ion batteries of a parked plane in Boston and a case of forced landing of another B-787 in Japan for an almost identical reason.