Air India’s Dreamliners to arrive this month
Air India will take delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft later this month, after the national carrier finally agreed a compensation package for delays.
Civil Aviation Minister, Ajit Singh told reporters that the Air India board “has accepted the payment proposal offered [by Boeing]”. Financial details of the compensation package were not revealed, but it is unlikely to be close to the US$1 billion previously sought by the airline. Boeing had initially offered to pay just US$145 million.
Air India was scheduled to take delivery of the first of 27 B787 Dreamliners by the end of May, but the delivery was delayed due to the ongoing compensation row. But now the two parties have resolved the issue, Boeing is expected to deliver as many as three Dreamliners to Air India this month alone. Following an initial flight testing process, the new aircraft are expected to be deployed to London Heathrow, as well as a brand now route to Melbourne.
The new fuel-efficient aircraft will arrive at a time of considerable unrest for the airline, however. The ongoing pilot strike, caused by Air India’s decision to train former Indian Airlines pilot to fly the new Dreamliners, has led the airline to dismiss more than 100 of its pilots and embark on a recruitment drive to replace them. Losses from the strike are believed to amount to US$2 million per day.