A snag-hit Air India aircraft that failed take-off from the Heathrow airport on Tuesday is among at least three grounded Dreamliner planes in the airline’s newest fleet of 21.
With no spare planes available, some passengers were put on other India-bound flights and others were sent to a hotel. An Air India spokesperson confirmed its London-Mumbai-Ahmedabad flight on Tuesday was cancelled owing to a “technical glitch”.
“Some passengers were accommodated on alternate AI flights to Delhi onward to Ahmedabad and for others hotel accommodation was provided,” said the spokesperson.
Ashwani Lohani, Air India, chairman and managing director, said, “Problems with Dreamliners have reduced now though not completely stopped. Boeing has been helping us.”
Snags have been one of the biggest concerns for the AI’s Dreamliner fleet. A snag-hit 787 each was benched at Chennai and Mumbai in January this year. Two months later the airline couldn’t operate an aircraft each from Paris and Kolkata. In May again, an engineering glitch kept about 250 Hong Kong-bound passengers held up in Mumbai for seven hours. The aircraft was grounded globally soon after launch over complaints of overheated batteries.
According to an audit by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation reported by HT, the Dreamliner had encountered 44 major engineering faults between September 2012 and February 2014.
HIT BY GLITCH
Major engineering snags: 44
Equipment failures: 9
Flight control issues: 7
Landing gear troubles: 6
Navigational snags: 4
Windshield cracks: 3