Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Dreamliner snag delays 160 Air India passengers

Mumbai: There seems to be no respite for Air India flyers from long delays. Snag-prone Dreamliners have added to flyers' woes after crew shortage and an Airbus A-320 shortage had delayed flights in the past few months.

AI's Mumbai-Bangkok flight was delayed by almost five hours as the Dreamliner supposed to fly 160 passengers to the Thai capital developed a snag on Wednesday morning. Engineers spent hours trying to repair the aircraft. The airline then arranged for another Dreamliner, which took off around 6am.

Passengers complained of "insensitive" handling by the airline. A passenger said they spent hours at the boarding gate as there was no information when the aircraft would leave. "AI did not serve anything to the harried passengers, which included senior citizens and foreigners. At 5am, they sent few crates of water though there were many of us," said a passenger.

An AI official said, "Since engineers were working to rectify the problem, we did not know how long it would take. When it could not be repaired in time, we arranged for another Dreamliner."

AI has been facing constant problems with the Boeing 787s. The government told Parliament on Tuesday, "There have been 181 glitches in AI's Dreamliners, leading to delays from April 2014 to November 2014... The technical snags have not affected the safety of the Dreamliner aircraft due to its system design and inbuilt system redundancy."

Boeing commercial airplanes (VP, sales) Dinesh Keskar told TOI the company will conduct a "reliability improvement program" on the first seven Dreamliners that AI got. As AI was among the launch customers, it got some of the earliest makes of the plane. The airline has taken delivery of 17 of the 27 ordered. Snags are more common in the older Dreamliners.

"We will do nose-to-tail reliability improvement on the first seven delivered. Each aircraft will have to be grounded for three to four days, and then they will be up-to-date. We will do the job whenever AI can spare the planes," Keskar said.

He added that Boeing has stationed two Dreamliner specialists in Delhi for providing technical help.

Keskar will study the delay in the aircraft getting certification for the category IIIB instrument landing system because of which they cannot operate in dense fog. With winter approaching in Delhi, it will be a big problem for AI.

Poor visibility at the Dreamliners' European destinations will force the planes to divert to places with no fog.

This is the third winter of AI's Dreamliners but they are yet to get Cat IIIB operating in dense fog.

- Source:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.