Thursday, September 6, 2012

Finally! Boeing delivers 1st 787 to Air India

After months of negotiating and waiting accompanied with a lot of hand wringing, Boeing has finally delivered the 1st 787 to Air India.  The "ceremony" is decidedly low key compared to other 1st deliveries of the 787 to other customers and rightlfully so.  Air India and the Indian Government has shown itself to be either utterly incompetent or very childish-like in its behavior towards Boeign in this matter.  It started in May when Boeing was prepared to make delivery of the aircraft to Air India after having agreed to compensation for the delays incured during development and production of the 787.  With days to go before delivery, Air India (probably urged on by the Indian Government) demanded more compensation than originally agreed upon.  This led to protracted negotiations after which there was a protracted approval process by the GoI.  The situation wasn't helped much with the contained failure on a GEnx-1B engine on a 787 destined for Air India in late July.  While the root cause is still under investigation the failure was in a fan blade shaft that ruptured. There have been no other instances of this failure occuring indicating that it may be a one off event but Air India mainteneance wanted to hold up deliveries because of it.  In the meantime 787s (and 747s) with the GEnx engine continued to fly and Ethiopian was the third airline to fly the Dreamliner and the 2nd one with the GEnx engines. Delivery of ZA236 (LN 35, VT-ANH) was made on the morning of Sept. 6th in avery low key ceremony with out any great fanfare, perhaps reflecting the tortured path inflicted by Air India on Boeing had to take to get to this moment.  This was in total contrast to the delivery of LAN's first 787 last week which was a 2 day party.

It seemed that all was ready for delivery and Boeing had pulled the first 787 to the delviery center at Charleston when word came that there were yet more approvals needed from the GoI on the compensation agreement even after the Indian Cabinet had given its approval.  It does seem that all the hurdles are cleared but one would still have to be cautious as this is the Indian Government that is entirely unpredictable.  The aircraft is to flyaway on September 7th and land in India on the morning of September 8th. The plan is for Air India to take delivery of the next two service ready 787s at Charleston over the next 2 weeks.  There are other 787s that have yet to be flight tested but those flights should come soon.  Hopefully there won't be other roadblocks put up by Air India that would prolong these deliveries.  He's the text of Boeig's announcement of the 787 delivery to Air India this morning:

Boeing celebrates delivery of Air India's first 787 Dreamliner

- First Indian airline to fly the 787

- The Dreamliner's range, capability allows for routes to Middle East, Europe, Asia, and Australia

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C., Sept. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Air India today celebrated the delivery of the airline's first 787 Dreamliner.
"Today is a great day for Air India as the most technologically advanced and fuel efficient airplane in the world joins our fleet," said Rohit Nandan, Air India Chairman & Managing Director. "The 787 will allow Air India to open new routes in a dynamic marketplace and provide the best in-flight experience for our passengers."
Air India is only the fifth airline in the world to take delivery of a 787 Dreamliner.
This delivery is the first of 27 Dreamliners for Air India. The airplane is equipped with 18 business class seats and 238 economy class seats.
The 787 has the range and capability to allow Air India to deploy the Dreamliner on many routes including the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Australia.
"We are pleased to celebrate another historic moment in our nearly seven-decade long relationship," said Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president of Asia Pacific and India Sales for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "I am sure Air India and their customers will be thrilled to experience the revolutionary features on the 787, an airplane that will be the key focus of the airline's turnaround plan."
Air India's first 787 Dreamliner was assembled in Everett, Wash. and delivered today from Boeing's South Carolina delivery center. The airplane is scheduled to fly to Delhi on Friday.
The 787 Dreamliner is an all-new airplane featuring a host of technologies that provide exceptional value to airlines and unparalleled levels of comfort to passengers. It is the first mid-size airplane capable of flying long-range routes, enabling airlines to open new, non-stop routes preferred by the traveling public.


Phil said...

Air India flyaway scheduled for 1500 EDT.

Trapperpk said...

1st Flight Air India Flightaware Tracking.

Macius said...

When is line move planned to happen? It says it's today - is it still the plan?
Also, I'd like to know why it takes sooooooo long to push any of the Charlestone planes out - I know, that they are doing change incorporation while assembling, but it takes ages - and I think, that LN 65 should not have that many tasks - after all it was the last one to go thru change incorporation. So when are we going to see any new planes pushed out of FALs?

787freak said...

Are they now painting the engines on 787's?!? A Qatar 787 has the normal engine color of their fleet now. Here's a picture.

HK Expat said...

Hi Uresh,

Aren't we due for some sort of a line move at the EMC? No aircraft have come in/out of there since CSN/43 and QAT/64 some 6-7 weeks ago.

If UAL is to have 2 aircraft in commercial operation on Nov 4, UAL/45 or UAL/50 need to go into the pain hangar imminently. UAL/77 could potentially be the second one although based on historical timelines, it wont get delivered till second week of Nov at earliest.


Anonymous said...

Is it me or has the flight testing activity picked up lately for the 787 program? Even during weekends it seems.

This would be a natural developement if they want to deliver more frames.

I think UAs second frame will be from the LN66+ bunch. The EMC ones will deliver later. LN45 and 50 will not leave EMC in time to make it IMO.