The Telegraph
Monday , July 28 , 2014
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Report sought on Dreamliner snags

New Delhi, July 27: Repeated glitches in Dreamliner planes have prompted the civil aviation ministry to seek a report from Air India on the problems faced in the use of the aircraft.

“On a daily basis something or the other keeps happening to one of these planes. The airline is spending considerable time, energy and manpower just to take care of these issues. When an aircraft is grounded right before it takes off, it causes inconvenience to passengers, delays the flight and is not good for the reputation of the carrier. We have asked the airline to file a report detailing all the troubles it has faced with the plane,” said a senior ministry official.

The official said the ministry might take action and demand an explanation from manufacturer Boeing.

According to reports, Air India had recently declined to take the delivery of the sixteenth aircraft after it faced glitches, including problems with the landing gear, in the test flights. Ministry officials said the airline would give a detailed report soon.

Civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju in a written reply to Parliament has said the national carrier’s Dreamliner fleet did 9,902 take-offs till June 2014 of which around 318 faced service delays because of technical snags.

Soon after taking over, Raju had hinted at reviewing the need to buy aircraft, including the 27 Boeing 787s for Air India.

“Aircraft have been bought and sold. We need to see why they were bought and sold,” he had said.

Air India jacked up its total order for Boeing and Airbus aircraft to 111 planes from an earlier estimate of 78, adding to the debt of the carrier. The 27 Dreamliners were ordered from Boeing at a cost of around Rs 20,000 crore.

In January last year, Dreamliner fleet world over was grounded after a series of incidents involving the battery in the aircraft.

Air India was allowed to restart Dreamliner services in May last year. During this time, the national carrier suffered operational losses of about Rs 300 crore.

Air India recently suffered a double whammy when two of its Dreamliners reported serious faults just before take off from New Delhi for Birmingham and Sydney and had to be grounded.