|VT-ANH under a Boeing test regn. N1015B at India Aviation 2012|
After much delay, national carrier Air India has taken delivery of its very first Boeing 787 Dreamliner at the airframer’s facility in Charleston, South Carolina, USA.
The aircraft LN 35, registered VT-ANH, was received by Captains A.S. Soman and Amitabh Singh on behalf of the airline.
The aircraft is expected to leave Charleston on Friday September 7th, and touch down at the capital New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport around 17:00 local on Saturday 8th September. The delivery flight is expected to make a technical halt at Frankfurt.
Air India’s 787s are powered by GEnx-1B engines, and are configured in a two-class configuration with 256 seats, including 18 lie flat business class seats. Detailed photographs and video of the Air India 787 cabin can be seen in this article.
This is the first of an order of 27 Dreamliners from the carrier. Four aircraft are lying ready at the Charleston facility and are expected to be rapidly delivered at the rate of one a week.
Despite being the second airline scheduled to receive the aircraft, political wrangling within various ministries and departments of the Indian government delayed Air India to the fifth airline to receive this new generation aircraft, behind launch customer All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, Ethiopian, and LAN Chile.
Air India will initially deploy their Dreamliners on domestic routes in India to help impart accelerated training to cockpit, cabin, and ground crews. The flight crews will also need to notch up the numbers of landings, facilitated by these shorter domestic routes.
Air India expects to commence non-stop services from Delhi to Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, in this Winter schedule starting on October 28, 2012. Tokyo and Paris are some of the other destinations being considered.