AI to induct its first "Dreamliner' Boeing next week

Last Updated: Friday, March 9, 2012 - 19:00

New Delhi: Scotching speculation about further delay in its delivery, US aircraft builder Boeing on Friday said the first of the 27 'Dreamliner' planes ordered by Air India would land in Hyderabad next week during the airshow there.

However, the aircraft is likely to be inducted only in May after it gets operational and technical certifications from the US Federal Aviation Administration, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and other agencies.

Official sources said the national carrier would induct this plane, painted in Air India livery, but only by May after the mandatory certification process was completed.

"The super-efficient Boeing-787 Dreamliner is set to make its debut at Hyderabad as part of Boeing's commercial products showcase at the 2012 India Aviation Airshow", being held from March 14 to 18, a Boeing spokesperson said, adding that the aircraft was set to land at Begumpet Airport on the eve of the airshow and remain on static display till March 16.

The delivery of the Dreamliner, built of composite materials which Boeing claims would help significantly reduce fuel consumption, has been delayed for almost three years for which Air India has sought a hefty compensation from Boeing.

Facing financial trouble, Air India has decided to sell and leaseback the first seven of the 27 planes it has ordered and is looking for bridge financing worth USD 230 million.

Under leaseback arrangement, one party sells a property to a buyer who immediately leases it back to the seller, allowing the initial buyer to make full use of the asset while not having capital tied up in it.

The government is yet to take a call on mode of induction of all the 27 B-787s Air India has ordered -- whether to curtail the order or leaseback all or purchase some of them outright. It also wants the compensation issue to be sorted out before Air India starts inducting them.


First Published: Friday, March 9, 2012 - 19:00

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