Ruling out any immediate action to ground Boeing Dreamliner planes operating on various national and international routes, Air India authorities are waiting for a formal communication or report from the US Federal Aviation Administration or Boeing authorities on the safety aspects of the new aircraft.
The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is also planning to undertake a safety review of the new aircraft although no complaint has been received on the functioning or the operational capacity of the aircraft has been received in the recent past. "There are no plans to ground the Dreamliners right now. They are functioning quite smoothly and efficiently on the various routes at the domestic and international level,’’ a senior Civil Aviation Ministry official said here. The safety review comes in view of the past glitches faced by some of the planes in the Dreamliner fleet.
The assertion not to ground the aircraft comes hours after two Japanese airlines -- ANA and JAL -- grounded all 24 of their Dreamliner planes following a series of technical problems. "We are in close touch with Boeing and Air India. Boeing will be giving us an update on the electrical problems some of these planes have suffered," officials said. Air India has ordered 27 B-787s and six of them have been delivered so far.
"Air India and the Civil Aviation Ministry are awaiting the findings of the US Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) probe into the problems faced by Boeing 787s. There is nothing that can be done in the present situation. We have already carried out inspections and checks on our aircraft on our own, including the lithium ion batteries. We are awaiting advice from the FAA and the Boeing,’’ the Civil Aviation official remarked.
The US aircraft major had last Friday jointly announced investigations with FAA after three of these aircraft owned by the Japanese carriers suffered glitches this month -- an electrical fire, fuel leakage and a broken cockpit window. Air India has taken delivery of six Dreamliner jets. Air India already operates flights to Dubai, Paris and Frankfurt with Dreamliner jets and has recently taken delivery of the sixth of 27 Dreamliner planes ordered in January 2006. Another six planes will join Air India’s fleet by December. The national carrier plans to induct the remaining 15 Dreamliner jets through 2016.
Technical experts from Boeing are already stationed in Delhi to troubleshoot any technical problems on the Dreamliner, sources said.