New Delhi: The first of the twenty-seven Boeing 787 Dreamliners ordered by Air India would be inducted in late May, as over 30 pilots are set to begin training to fly the new aircraft in Singapore.
The first Dreamliner is likely to be inducted in the second or third week of May, Air India sources said. It would be the same aircraft, carrying the Air India ensign and livery that was displayed at the Hyderabad Air-show in March.
Considered to be a "game-changer" for the ailing national carrier, the light-weight, long-haul aircraft made of composite materials like carbon fibre, is portrayed as very fuel-efficient which would help slash costs significantly.
The long-distance capability of the Boeing 787 aircraft would allow Air India to profitably operate non-stop flights to many distant cities like those in Australia and Africa besides the Americas, the sources said.
"A Dreamliner is ready in Seattle. We had brought it to Hyderabad (for the air-show) to showcase it. The government and Air India will have to decide when to take it," Vice President of Boeing International Trading Dinesh Keskar, said.
"Air India will have to do all the planning and (work out its) financing. We will be helping them in all this," he said.
Asked by when the second aircraft would be delivered, he said the second Boeing 787-8 was "almost ready. It can be delivered in June".
While Air India has ordered 27 of these new planes, Jet Airways has placed orders for ten. The national carrier is expected to get at least three of these air-planes this year.
Delhi and Mumbai would be Air India's operational bases for the Dreamliner. Its flying schedule has been proposed on the assumption that it would fly 4,500 hours per annum, implying daily utilisation of 12-13 hours.
First Published: Sunday, April 15, 2012, 14:19