Though Air India’s Dreamliner fleet resumed operations from May 15, fliers from Mumbai are likely to witness a long wait to experience the aircraft touted to have better cabin space and minimal flight fatigue.
Mumbai does not feature in the airlines flight schedule for the Boeing 787 over the next two months and airlines officials said Air India is unlikely to add the city to the Dreamliners network unless Mumbai airport officials complete certain compatibility issues at its domestic aprons.
According to AI officials, the aerobridges and the cargo loading mechanism at the city airport are not compatible with Dreamliner planes. “The aircraft require an integrated cargo loading setup which is missing at Mumbai,” said ML Franklin, general manager, engineering department, Air India.
Mumbai airport officials denied the claim by the national carrier.
Despite MIAL’s denial, AI officials maintained that the airline’s independent risk assessment found that the city airport’s domestic aprons did not qualify for Dreamliner operations.
Dreamliners joined the AI fleet last September but were grounded in January owing to a fault with its battery. AI is likely to take delivery of seven more 787s this year, taking its Dreamliner fleet to 14.