Even as Air India on Thursday grounded all its six Boeing-787 Dreamliner planes after a global directive by US regulator, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to stop operations of all the 50 such planes delivered so far to various airlines, Civil Aviation Minister, Ajit Singh said no Dreamliner would be allowed to fly till it gets clearance from DGCA and US aviation regulator.
On Wednesday Japan had grounded 24 Dreamliners owned by two of its airlines-- ANA (All Nippon Airways) and Japan Airlines. Air India followed the global directive issued by FFA and decided to ground all six planes in its fleet.
However, officials said that it services on the sectors, which were being serviced by Dreamliners, would remained unaffected as new aircraft were being deployed to cater to ferry the passengers on domestic and international routes.Flights to Paris and Frankurt operated by the Dreamliner will now be serviced by Boeing 777. While one of the six planes is always on a standby, three are used on the domestic sector and two on international including Paris and Frankfurt, they said, adding that domestic services would be absorbed by the existing fleet of aircraft
Air India officials said FAA has directed the grounding of the entire Dreamliner fleet till such time as the aircraft manufacturer Boeing demonstrate compliance of various measures the American regulator has asked it to carry out.
In his response, Mr. Singh said Air India will not fly Dreamliners till the FAA and the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) give a clearance. ``How long it will take, we will all know only in a couple of days but there are about 50 dreamliners in operations for more than a year, therefore more than 50,000 miles. So let us hope they can find a solution soon,’’ Mr. Singh said in response to a question as to how long it could take to fly the Boeing 787 again.
The Minister said he had talked to the FAA and the US regulator has said that it will check all the planes, entire system because of this battery problem. ``The DGCA was constantly in touch with the FAA and what I think and what I know is that Boeing has to come with a plan for the FAA to test all the electrical system and batteries. When that plan comes up, we will also test them but basically first FAA has to approve that they are safe to fly,’’ he remarked.