Jun 24, 2013 12:58 PM IST | Source:

Air India to start Birmingham--Delhi flights from Aug 1

Air India plans to expand its global network using the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which will emerge as the "game changer" for the national carrier, it believes

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Moneycontrol Bureau

National carrier Air India (AI) will launch Birmingham-Delhi flights from August 1 on its new Boeing 787-800 aircraft. The flights will operate four times a week.

AI will also connect Sydney-Melbourne from August, Rome and Milan from October and Moscow from early next year with its Boeing 787s.

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Martyn Lloyd, Commercial Director of Birmingham Airport, said, "This is fantastic news for our region and we're delighted that Air India has recognised the strong demand that lies in our catchment and will be operating the new Dreamliner aircraft on the route."

The airline has ordered a total of 27 787 Dreamliner aircraft of which six are already being used for commercial operations and another eight are likely to get inducted in its fleet by year-end.

However, AI has curtailed operations on B-787 flights in January this year after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) insisted that airlines having acquired B737 from the US aircraft manufacturer Boeing would have to demonstrate the lithium ion batteries were safe before they could resume flying.

The decision by the US came after Japan's two leading airlines grounded their fleets of Boeing 787s after one of the Dreamliner passenger jets made an emergency landing.

Meanwhile, AI plans to expand its global network using the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, and believes it will emerge as the "game changer" for the national carrier.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a long-range, mid-size wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner which entered into commercial service last year.

According to Boeing, it is the company's most fuel-efficient airliner and the world's first major airliner to use composite materials as the primary material in the construction of its airframe.

AI seems bullish on attaining operational efficiencies after inducting fuel efficient six 787's in its fleet. The airline is aiming to cut losses by around Rs 2000 crore in current fiscal by reducing staff and interest cost and other initiative. The airline has also managed to cut in 2012-13 loss by 43 percent to Rs 5599 crore. Its revenues have also risen 10 percent to Rs 16130 crore.

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