Despite being plagued by recurring technical glitches, the national carrier Air India will complete acquisition of the 27 Dreamliners from Boeing before April and will take delivery of the 23rd B-787 early January.
Millennium Post in a report titled- 'Why is the Government treating Boeing with kid gloves?" published on November 30 had pointed out how several Dreamliner flights operating both within India and outside were delayed on account of technical problems. Curiously, the government did not take the US-based Dreamliner to task or scrap the acquisition of new aircraft. "We will be taking delivery of the 23rd Boeing 787 Dreamliner on January 9 and hope to have the last batch of four more Dreamliners by the end of this fiscal year. That will have us completing the process that started more than a decade ago in 2006," Air India finance director Vinod Hejmadi said.
In 2016, the American aviation giant delivered two Dreamliners to against the plan of three. It was supposed to deliver the 23rd plane in November/December.
The national carrier had in January 2006 ordered as many as 68 Boeing aircraft, making Air India one of the launch customers for what Boeing claimed as a game-changing plane. The mega order included 27 Dreamliners or B787s and 41 B-777s and B-737-800s for a whopping Rs 64,000 crore.
While the long delivery delays sank the airline into a cesspool of debt and poor revenues due to the lingering crisis in the global aviation market, what was more worrisome for it was the recurring technical glitches that had for months grounded the entire fleet which was sold by Boeing originally as a game-changer aircraft with high fuel efficiency and larger space.