New Delhi: With the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner for Air India landing here tomorrow, the airline plans to fly it on select domestic and international routes for the next two months before it flies long-haul.
The new 256-seater aircraft, made out of light-weight carbon composite materials, would be flown on routes like Delhi-Dubai on the international sector, Delhi-Kolkata, Delhi -Bangalore and Delhi-Amritsar, airline sources said.
The flights on these short and medium haul routes would be undertaken till October-November for the crew, who are already trained to fly the airplane, to practice more landings and take-offs, the sources said. So far, 65 pilots have been trained to fly this plane.
Then onwards, the Boeing 787s would be deployed on the new long-haul routes to Australia, Europe, Japan and the US.
While the first aircraft arrives here tomorrow, the next two would fly out of Boeing facility in Charleston, South Carolina in the US in the next two weeks.
Air India, which has ordered 27 Dreamliners six years ago, plans to get a total of eight of them till March next year, including five by December. In 2013-14, the national carrier would get six more.
The aircraft would become the mainstay of Air India's global operations as more numbers are inducted in its fleet and become the key focus of the airline's turnaround plan. A major factor would be that it would lower flying costs as it consumes less fuel than other similar-sized airplanes.
"The B-787s will allow Air India to open new routes in a dynamic marketplace and provide the best in-flight experience for our passengers," Air India CMD Rohit Nandan has said.
The mid-size plane has four variants, with the longest- range one capable of flying over 15,000 kms non-stop.
The aircraft for Air India has been configured to accommodate 256 seats-- 18 full-flat Business Class seats and 238 Economy Class seats. It features a host of sophisticated technologies, including mood-lighting inside the cabin and large LCD display screens for in-flight entertainment.