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Boeing delay spoils AI plan

New Delhi, May 22: Air India’s turnaround plan has suffered a jolt with the state-run carrier being informed of a further delay in the delivery of Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

“We have been informed by Boeing executives that they have not managed to secure clearances from their local aviation bodies. So they have postponed the delivery for the time being,” said a senior civil aviation ministry official. The delivery was slated for May 30.

Civil aviation minister Ajit Singh was supposed to fly down to Seattle along with a team of officials on May 28 where Boeing had planned a ceremony to hand over the aircraft. The delegation was supposed to fly back to New Delhi in the Dreamliner.

Boeing has not yet fixed a new date for the delivery.

The delay will affect Air India’s turnaround plan, which is supposed to pull the carrier out of a financial rut. The carrier’s plan to launch as many as eight international flights on new routes has been on the back-burner for quite some time now.

Air India is the second customer of these sophisticated and fuel-efficient aircraft after Japan’s All Nippon Airways.

The delivery has been postponed several times since the order was placed in 2005. Boeing was supposed to deliver the first plane in 2008. It has defaulted on its commitment because of various reasons, including strikes by its workers at its main manufacturing unit in Seattle.

Meanwhile, the strike by Air India pilots has entered the fifteenth day. The management has chalked out contingency plans that will continue at least till June 1.

 
 
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