Air India grounds 787 fleet

Air India has followed the rest of the pack into grounding its 787 fleet of 6 planes as of 17 January, following the FAA advisory issued in the USA. The Indian regulator DGCA followed into the steps of the FAA, and directed Air India to ground all the 6 planes, till Boeing could prove sufficiently to the FAA that the planes are safe.

The Boeing 787 serves largely domestic routes at this moment, and 3 international services to Dubai, Paris CDG and Frankfurt from Delhi.

The DGCA has formed a committee to look into the safety and engineering aspect of the 787 as well. Air India’s 787 had a technical snag on the inaugural flight as well, and reportedly had many smaller snags as it went along impacting the dispatch reliability of this plane.

ANA, JAL were the first to ground their fleets because of continuous battery related issues in the Boeing 787’s operated by them, followed by United (which was guided by the FAA), and now Air India. LOT Polish and LAN have also decided to ground their 787s. Ethiopian and Qatar Airways remain the only airlines which have still not taken a decision in this respect at the moment.

Problems are common with new airframes, but the problems with B787 have been magnified because it depends on a new battery system, and has a lot more electronic components than the earlier airframes.

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