Aircraft manufacturing major Boeing will deliver the first of its premium 787 Dreamliner aircraft to Air India (AI) this year. “Deliveries will occur this year and it will happen with proper settlement,” Dinesh Keskar, president, Boeing India, told Hindustan Times.
Keskar said he would formally announce the date of deliveries at the Aero India show to be held in Bangalore in the second week of February.
“We know the answer (when the first plane would be delivered to AI) but we wanted to find a good platform. We have just announced that we will deliver the 787 to Japan’s All Nippon Airlines in the third quarter this year,” Keskar said.
Keskar would soon be meeting AI chairman to inform him about the delivery schedule.
A miffed AI management had slapped a notice on the Seattle-based aviation giant demanding compensation of about $850 million for the persistent delay on deliveries of planes. AI had placed an order for 27 B-787 Dreamliners.
According to the original schedule, the first such aircraft was to be delivered in September 2008 followed by one each in the subsequent months.
By March 2011, Boeing was scheduled to have delivered 18 of these aircraft to AI.
“Everybody knows there is a commercial agreement between Boeing and AI and those agreements govern the terms. It’s like you tell somebody to build your house and if it’s not built on time there is a remedy,” Keskar said.
The Dreamliner flight test programme, he said, was in full swing with the aircraft having completed 2500 hours and another 300 hours were needed to be done after which they will get the Federal Aviation Administration certificate.
“Once that is obtained, which we are expecting this summer, then we can begin deliveries all over the world,” he said.
The demand for the aircraft has been unprecedented with 857 units already sold. “Many aircraft in operation right now won’t reach that number in their lifetime,” Keskar said.
“By 2013-end, we will start building ten airplanes a month. But still that will take 85 months (for the present orders to be executed) so it’s a long way and are seeing what we can do. For the first time in Boeing’s history, we have opened a second assembly line in South Carolina where we will be building 787’s,” he said.