Corporate Sep 13, 2012
New Delhi: National carrier Air India on Wednesday said it plans to deploy its newly-acquired Boeing 787 Dreamliner in service from Sep 19, with the first commercial flight slated between New Delhi and Chennai.
"Dreamliner will start flying on domestic routes from September 19. The first flight will be on the Delhi-Chennai route. Later on, six more destinations will be added", said Rohit Nandan, chairman and managing director, Air India.
According to Nandan, the new aircraft will be deployed on major international routes from December, while in the interim period the aircraft may be flown to Dubai or Singapore.
Air India, in a mega deal with Boeing, had booked 27 Boeing 787s in 2006 . The carrier was to get delivery in May 2008, which got pushed forward for a variety of reasons, including manufacturing delays.
Air India's first Dreamliner arrived in the national capital Sep 8, ending a four-year wait. Air India is the fifth airline to receive the fuel-efficient and eco-friendly aircraft.
The aircraft arrived after the cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) approved the the delay-compensation settlement agreement with Boeing, allowing the civil aviation ministry and the flag carrier to take delivery of 27 Boeing 787 aircraft.
The airline will take deliveries of five more 787s by end of this year, followed by seven more in 2013, five in 2014, six in 2015 and three in 2016.
On a long term basis the airline plans to deploy the 787 on many routes including the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Australia.
The Boeing 787 aircraft is made of composite materials. Its newly-developed engine and advanced flight technologies make it highly fuel-efficient. The plane can fly up to 16,000 km non-stop.
More From R Jagannathan.