The much-awaited state-of-art advanced aircraft Boeing 787 Dreamliner landed in Kolkata for the first time on Wednesday. The aircraft arrived in Kolkata from Delhi with 162 passengers on board out of which 5 were business class passengers. The return flight to Delhi from Kolkata carried 246 passengers out of which 18 were business class passengers.
The Dreamliner offers all the comfort in the world.
The commander of the flight was Captain WL Ridenour and Captain JM Joseph was second in command. “I am from Boeing and 8 of us have come here to give training to the Air India pilots. Flying Dreamliner would be a great experience for the pilots,” said Ridenour.
The Dreamliner is configured to accommodate 256 passengers, with 18 business class seats and 238 economy class seats in a 3-3-3 configuration with two aisles. The 18-inch window is electronically dimmable and the passenger has the option of selecting the perfect level of light.
“The wing, tail, nose and flight deck windows have been engineered for the maximum aerodynamic efficiency, reducing fuel burn,” said an Air India spokesperson. The aircraft is pressured to a maximum of 6,000 ft compared to as high as 8,000 ft for other aircraft. Testing shows that passengers experience fewer headaches and less fatigue at 6,000 ft. He also said that Dreamliner’s cabin air is cleaner than any other aircraft today since its system includes high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to remove bacteria, virus and fungi. The gaseous filtration system also removes odour, irritants and gaseous containments.
National carrier Air India as a part of their turn-around plan is aiming to fly to two international destinations; Guangzhou in China and Phuket in Thailand from Kolkata.
“The turn-around plan has been approved and we would start adding more capacity in the eastern region very soon,” said R Dayal, Executive director (eastern region) of Air India.
According to him, Air India is trying to connect Dhaka and Bangkok to Kolkata by this winter. “The next destinations would be Guangzhou and Phuket,” said Dayal.
“There is a possibility that a flight from some other place would stopover at Kolkata and then go to Phuket and Guangzhou,” added Dayal. However no specific dates were mentioned.
Speaking about increasing more flights from the eastern region Dayal said that the airline is all set to increase its capacity from Kolkata. Currently there are 3,900 seats being offered from the eastern region out of which 2,300 seats are offered from Kolkata on a daily basis.
“The capacity would be increased by 30%,” said Dayal.