Mumbai: The grounding of Air India's Boeing 787 fleet will impact its operations and the state-run airline may have to combine its flights to keep the schedule intact. The Dreamliner fleet was grounded following the US Federal Aviation Administration’s emergency air worthiness directive on Wednesday that requires Boeing and airlines, including Air India, to take corrective action on defective batteries in the plane before undertaking further flights.
Air India has six Boeing 787s and uses them on three domestic routes (Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata) and three international routes (Dubai, Frankfurt and Paris). The airline is due to receive two more 787s in January and February and the decision to induct them will now hinge on how the US plane maker addresses the safety concerns. Air India has 27 such 787s on order.
The national carrier has about 80 pilots trained to fly the Boeing Dreamliner. With the jets grounded, Air India will have to deploy Boeing 777s on the Frankfurt and Paris routes and airbus A320s for its domestic flights.
The pilots from the Dreamliner fleet cannot be utilised to fly other aircraft unless they undergo refresher course (simulator training and route checks).
18/01/13 Business Standard