New Delhi: Air India on Thursday grounded all its six Boeing-787 Dreamliner planes after a global directive by US regulator, Federal Aviation Administration, to stop operations of all the 50 such planes delivered so far to various airlines.
The FAA directive was immediately adhered to by aviation regulator of countries whose airlines have so far bought these latest aircraft. Watch: Air India decides to ground all six Boeing 787 Dreamliners | Sneak peek into the Dreamliner
On Wednesday, Japan had grounded 24 Dreamliner owned by two of its airlines– ANA (All Nippon Airways) and Japan Airlines. Air India officials said they have grounded all the six planes in its fleet with immediate effect following the FAA directive and the DGCA advisory.
They said that FAA has directed the grounding of the entire Dreamliner fleet till such time as the aircraft manufacturer Boeing "demonstrate compliance" of various measures the American regulator has asked it to carry out.
However, the officials maintained that its services will not be affected in any major way as flights to Paris and Frankurt operated by the Dreamliner will now be serviced by Boeing 777.
While one of the six planes is always on a standby, three are used on the domestic sector and two on international including Paris and Frankfurt, they said, adding that domestic services would be absorbed by the existing fleet of aircraft.
Boeing says Dreamliner 'safe' after US grounding
Boeing on Wednesday insisted its 787 Dreamliner is safe after US authorities ordered airlines to stop flying the plane over a fire risk linked to its lithium batteries.
"We are confident the 787 is safe and we stand behind its overall integrity," Boeing CEO Jim McNerney said in a statement.
"We will be taking every necessary step in the coming days to assure our customers and the travelling public of the 787's safety and to return the airplanes to service."
Dreamliner will operate only after FAA, DGCA green signal: Ajit Singh
Civil aviation minister Ajit Singh said the grounded fleet of Boeing Dreamliner aircraft would be allowed to fly only after clearance by US regulator Federal Aviatio Administration and the DGCA.
"Certainly, we will not fly the Dreamliner until the FAA and our own DGCA give clearance," he told reporters.
The minister's statement came after national carrier Air India grounded all its six Boeing-787 Dreamliner planes after a global directive by FAA to stop operations of all the 50 such planes delivered so far to various airlines.
On the extent of seriousness of the problem with the aircraft, Singh said, "How long it will take, we will all know only in a couple of days but there are about 50 Dreamliners in operations for more than a year, therefore more than 50,000 miles. So let us hope they can find a solution soon."
Boeing 787 aircraft is highly fuel-efficient
The Boeing 787 aircraft is made of composite materials. Its newly-developed engine and advanced flight technologies make it highly fuel-efficient. The plane can fly up to 16,000 km non-stop.
The aircraft comes with a slew of advanced technologies which reduce noise and emission during all phases of flight, including take-off, cruise and landing.
The Air India's 787 was equipped with best-in class seats for its 256 passengers from Contour Aerospace and Weber Aircraft.
While Contour Aerospace has equipped the 18 business class seats, Weber had provided the other 238 seats.
Watch: Air India decides to ground all six Boeing 787 Dreamliners | Sneak peek into the Dreamliner Also read: US regulator grounds Boeing 787 Dreamliners | First Dreamliner aircraft delivered to Air India