New Delhi: Air India on Wednesday received its second Boeing 787 Dreamliner as it firmed up plans to open new international routes using the aircraft to destinations in Australia and southeast Asia.
"Flight schedule and crew training of the aircraft will be decided soon," a senior official of the airline told reporters.
"The third aircraft will be arriving by the end of the month. We are expecting five 787s to join the fleet by the end of the year and seven by the end of the fiscal."
Notably, the national carrier also started the first commercial service on the first Dreamliner Wednesday between New Delhi and Chennai.
"The aircraft completed its first flight round between Delhi-Chennai route. Now it will be deployed between Delhi-Bangalore," the official said.
Air India has become the fifth airline in the world to have the fuel-efficient and eco-friendly aircraft. The 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 airline plans to deploy the 787s on many routes, including the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Air India received the first Dreamliner Sep 8 after a wait of four years. The carrier was to get the delivery in May 2008, but that got pushed forward due to a variety of reasons, including manufacturing delays.
The aircraft arrived after the cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) approved the delay-compensation settlement agreement with Boeing, allowing the civil aviation ministry and the flag carrier to take delivery of 27 Boeing 787 aircraft.
The airline will take delivery of five more 787s by the end of this year, followed by seven more in 2013, five in 2014, six in 2015 and three in 2016.
Air India had booked 27 Boeing 787s in 2006 in a mega-deal.