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Dreamliner India to take to the skies tomorrow
May 14, 2013, 12:08 pm


The Dreamliner planes were grounded in January after a series of faults with the lithium-ion batteries [AP]

Air India will resume domestic operations of the grounded Dreamliner planes from Wednesday and global flights later this month.

“The first commercial flight of the Dreamliner will start on Wednesday from Delhi to Kolkata. Out of the six of the Boeing 787 planes, two have been already modified following the battery fire incidents,” India’s civil aviation minister Ajit Singh told reporters in Delhi.

Air India is one of Boeing’s initial customers for the Dreamliner planes.

The airline grounded all six of its 787s in the middle of January after being asked to do so by India’s director general of civil aviation.

Singh said the first international flight of the Dreamliner will be on May 22.

The national carrier will begin full-scale global operations with these planes from Delhi to Birmingham and Sydney to Melbourne from August, Rome and Milan from October and Moscow from early next year, the minister said.

The remaining four of the total six Dreamliners with Air India will become operational at the end of the month, Singh said, adding that another eight Dreamliner planes will be delivered by Boeing by December, taking the total to 14.

The airline has ordered a total of 27 Dreamliners.

The B-787s have remained grounded since January 17 after a fire in the lithium-ion batteries of a parked plane in Boston and a case of forced landing of another B-787 for the same reason in Japan.

The minister refused to divulge the amount of compensation the US aircraft manufacturer would give to Air India but said the airline has set up an internal committee to talk to Boeing on the issue.

Recent news reports quote Qatar Airways as saying it will receive compensation from Boeing for $200 million in lost revenues for its five Boeing 787 aircrafts.

With inputs from Agencies