Air India begins ‘dream’ innings
By ENS Economic Bureau - NEW DELHI
13th September 2012 10:02 AM
After a near five-year delay, the Dreamliner 787 that has the potential to turn the fortunes of financially crippled state-run carrier Air-India was on Wednesday officially inducted into its fleet. The mint new aircraft is 112th in AI’s fleet.
The 258-seat aircraft, made out of composites materials consumes 15-20 per cent less fuel than other aircraft, will be deployed on the Delhi-Chennai route from September 19.
“Dreamliner is an exciting plane. We hope that it will take Air India back to its good old ‘Maharaja days’,” Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh told reporters after the new aircraft was officially inducted into the airline.
Boeing claims the Dreamliner consumes 15-20% less fuel than an aircraft of the same size, thus reducing fuel costs that constitutes 40% of an airline’s operational costs.
“Dreamliner will start flying on domestic routes from September 19. The first flight will be on Delhi-Chennai route. Later on, six more destinations will be added. It will fly on international routes in winter,” Air India Chairman and Managing D irector Rohit Nandan said.
With Air India implementing its turnaround and financial restructuring plans for several months now, the beleaguered national carrier has reported a cash surplus of `48 crore between April and July against a cash deficit of `586 crore during the same period last year.
Air India would take deliveries of five more B787s by the end of this year, seven in 2013, five in 2014, six in 2015 and three in 2016, he said.
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