Mumbai: Air India will revert its Boeing 787 pilots to its Boeing 777 fleet in the absence of clear time frame for re-induction of the grounded Dreamliners. Air India has grounded six Boeing 787 Dreamliners following Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) directive and this has led to cancelling and clubbing of its international flights.
Air India has 80 pilots who operate the Boeing 787 which was flown on three domestic and three international routes. Air India has 20 Boeing 777s which can cover its international network but due to non availability of captains on its Boeing 777s some of the flights had to be cancelled or combined. Delhi-Tokyo flight and a Mumbai-Delhi leg of an international flight has been cancelled for next few days and Singapore flights from Mumbai and Chennai are being combined on certain dates. Last week the airline clubbed Paris and Frankfurt flights.
According to sources twelve Boeing 787 pilots are now undergoing training which will enable them to operate Boeing 777s. The seven day training will include simulator course and route checks which involves flying under supervision of trained commanders. "We do not have a time frame when Boeing 787s will be available for utilisation. We have already begun the process of converting 12 787 pilots on the Boeing 777s. This will enable us to operate a few more flights,'' an airline source said.
23/01/13 Aneesh Phadnis/Business Standard