It can operate non-stop up to 16,000 km with 250 passengers

Boeing 787, popularly known as “Dreamliner'' and dubbed as the world's most advanced passenger jetliner, touched down at IGI Airport here on Wednesday while on a test flight.

As the “Dreamliner'' landed here and taxied to the parking bay, the aircraft was given a water cannon salute. Boeing 787, already delayed by three years, can operate non-stop ultra long haul routes up to 16,000 km with 250 passengers.

State-owned Air India has ordered 27 Dreamliners and Jet Airways is the only other Indian carrier that has placed orders for 10 aircraft. Boeing 787, when pressed into service, will enable airlines to operate direct, non-stop flights to North America or Australia from any Indian city.

Air India, which placed the order in 2005, expects the delivery of the first aircraft in October this year, followed by two in November and one more in December. Jet placed its order in 2007 and is likely to get the deliveries from 2014.

Boeing officials have said the first plane would be delivered to Air India in the fourth quarter of this year. The original delivery schedule was to have started in 2008.

Coming in from Seattle via Tokyo, the Boeing 787, which is on a test-flight to those destinations where airlines have placed orders, will fly off to Mumbai on Thursday to continue its onward journey.

After Japanese airline All Nippon Airways, which is the launch customer and has ordered 50 Boeing 787 planes, Air India will be the second customer globally to receive the aircraft. Air India will begin training its pilots to fly this plane by next month, Boeing officials said.

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