Bollywood Epic: Air India’s 787

Wasn’t sure this was going to happen  but State-run carrier Air India’s first Boeing 787  has been delivered! The plane touched down at Terminal 3 of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport on September 8th at around 1700h (5pm).

Behind the delivery is a saga of Bollywood proportions! First up, there is  Air India’s precarious financial state. There was talk that the carrier may simply sell the planes to another carrier.

Add to that,  a dispute between Boeing  and Air India over compensation for the four year delay in delivery. Three of the 787s have sat waiting in South Carolina for resolution of that issue. The terms of this settlement have not been disclosed.

Combine that with two months of strike action by 500 Air India pilots who do not want their colleagues from the former Indian Airlines, (the domestic carrier) that merged with Air India, not be allowed to fly Dreamliners because they  were worried this move would harm their own career prospects and seniority.

Air India is the fifth airline in the world to take delivery of a 787 Dreamliner following ANA , JAL, LAN and Ethiopian.  They  have ordered 27 of the type. They have fitted their planes with 256 seats:

  • 18 business class seats arranged 2-2-2. Pitch 74″
  • 238 economy class seats arranged 3-3-3 with a relatively generous 33″ seat pitch

Air India is 40 per cent government owned and 60 percent privately owned. 26 per cent  of its shares are foreign owned. Skytrax rates them as a 3 star airline. I have never flown them.

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