Air India’s seventh GEnx-1B-powered Boeing 787 of the 27 ordered is taking flight at the flying display here at the Paris Air Show. The airline will take delivery of this 787 next month, and a total of eight by the end of this year, five in 2014, six in 2015 and two in 2016. A Qatar Airways 787, which flew at the Farnborough Air Show last year, is also on static display here.
Air India’s 787 operations are flying on the domestic sector from Delhi to Bangalore, Kolkata and London. Plans are afoot to start flights to Birmingham, Rome, Milan, Melbourne, Sydney and Moscow, Air India managing director Rohit Nandan said recently.
Nandan had last year indicated the importance of the 787 for Air India, which has been struggling to use its 777s effectively. “Dreamliners are expected to achieve great performance levels at lower fuel, maintenance and operating costs,” he said in a message to Air India’s 30,000 employees in December last year.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) became the newest operator to fly its first Boeing C-17 Globemaster III last week. “The C-17 will equip the IAF with amongst the world’s most advanced humanitarian and strategic capabilities,” said Air Vice MarshalSRK Nair, assistant chief of Air Staff Operations (transport and helicopters). Boeing is on track to deliver four more C-17s to the IAF this year and five in 2014. The high-wing, four-engine, military-transport jet can carry large equipment, supplies and troops directly to small airfields in harsh terrain, take off from a 7,600-foot airfield, carry a payload of 160,000 pounds, fly 2,400 nautical miles, refuel while in flight andland in 3,000 foot or less on a small unpaved or paved airfield by day or night.
India’s navy inducted in May the first of eight P-8I maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine aircraft it had ordered from Boeing. Two more are scheduled for delivery by the end of the year. India is also in talks with Boeing to acquire 15 Chinook CH-47F heavy-lift helicopters and 22 AH-64D Block-III Apache attack helicopters.