Air India to get demo-trial on Boeing 787 next week
National carrier Air India, which is expected to receive its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft in the fourth quarter of the year, will get its first demo-trial on the plane next week.
‘Air India will get its first demo-trial next week. We will fly in the 787 from Japan to New Delhi on July 13,’ Dinesh Keskar, president, Boeing India told IANS.
According to Keskar, the 250-seat aircraft will be stationed at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport in Delhi for two days. It will fly to Mumbai July 15 where it will be kept for a day.
‘The plane will land at the IGI airport and will stay here till July 14. After which it will fly out to Mumbai,’ Keskar said.
The Indian flag carrier will only be the second airline in the world to get the 787 which is currently considered to be one of the most anticipated and state-of-the-art airplanes in the world.
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.
‘The huge advantage is that no airline in the world has this aircraft. Air India would only be the second airline in the world to have it after All Nippon Airways (Japan),’
Currently there are 835 orders on book with the international aircraft manufacturer for the 787 from around the world. Air India placed an order for 27 aircraft in 2007.
‘The 787s are crucial for the airline’s turnaround plan due to its low maintenance and fuel cost and high efficiency,’ Keskar said.
‘There are many types of aircraft that can carry 160-190 passengers and others that can carry around 350 passengers. But there is no aircraft that comes in between both the categories with passenger capacity of 250,’ he said.
Currently, the Indian carriers have a mix of aircraft types for domestic and international operations like narrow-body Boeing 737 and Airbus A320, and wide-body, aircraft Airbus A330 and Boeing 777.
Air India ordered 68 aircraft from Boeing in 2006. Of these, 50 were for its own fleet and 18 for its low-cost subsidiary Air India Express that flies on short-haul international routes. Apart from the 27 Boeing 787s ordered in 2007, the fleet includes a mix of Boeing 777s and Boeing 737s.
Air India would be the first carrier in the world whose Boeing 787 aircraft will be fitted with a General Electric engine which saves up to 15 percent on fuel consumption.
The aircraft comes with a slew of advanced technologies which reduce noise and emission during all phases of flight, including take-off, cruise and landing.
Another Indian airline major Jet Airways has also placed an order for 10 of these modern aircraft. Jet’s aircraft deliveries are slated for 2014.