Air India Financially Grappling With Dreamliner Woes

Facing frequent technical problems in its Dreamliner fleet, Air India has found itself in a spot as absence.

Published: 24th April 2016 08:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th April 2016 08:03 PM   |  A+A-


An Indian security officer stands in front of a newly inducted Air India Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft on static display on the opening day of India Aviation 2012 in Hyderabad, Wednesday. APAP Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy gets into the HAL Chopper


NEW DELHI: Facing frequent technical problems in its Dreamliner fleet, Air India has found itself in a spot as absence of contractual provisions is hindering the national carrier's efforts to get financial compensation from aircraft maker Boeing.

Air India, which is working on efforts to turnaround its fortunes, has been grappling with technical glitches and other malfunction with the "game-changer" Dreamliner aircraft since their induction in the fleet over three year ago.

The every now and then glitches have forced the national carrier to ground Boeing 787-800 planes on multiple occasions, which has resulted in long flight delays and significant loss of revenue.

Last month alone, at least two Dreamliners were grounded by the airline, one in Paris and another in Kolkata, in the wake of technical problems.

A senior Air India official said many rounds of discussions have taken place with respect to seeking compensation from Boeing but efforts have not been successful so far.

"There is no provision for (financial) compensation with respect to technical problems in Dreamliner under the agreement signed with Boeing," the official said.

The absence of such a provision in the contract is hindering the possibility of getting compensated for the technical glitches but still efforts are being made in this regard, he noted.

Air India has already inducted 21 Dreamliners in its fleet and six more are to be delivered to it by August 2018.

Though the airline management had also considered options such as replacing the remaining six planes with five latest version (B 787-900) aircraft, the proposal did not find favour with its board.

Significantly, the Government-run airline has also been forced to take the delivery of three B 777-300ER planes, which it wanted to cancel earlier due to the absence of "cancellation" clause in the purchase agreement with the US aircraft maker.

After initially deferring the delivery of these planes, Air India now plan to induct them in the fleet next year.

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