Air India received its third Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the first aircraft coming out of the new North Charleston facility of the American manufacturer, the company said today.
"We are delighted to be the first airline in the world to take delivery of a Dreamliner from this beautiful factory and look forward to taking many more," Air India Board member K M Unni said after receiving the first plane from the new plant.
He said the B-787 was "an airplane with unmatched efficiency and technology which will help in our airline's turnaround plan," a Boeing statement from North Charleston quoting him said.
In September, Air India took delivery of its first of the 27 Dreamliners on order. The aircraft is equipped with 18 business class seats and 238 in the economy class.
Work on the first South Carolina-built airplane began in October 2010 with fabrication of the aft fuselage and assembly of the mid-body section. Final assembly began in June 2011 and the completed airplane rolled out in April 2012 and flew for the first time in May, the release said.
"With two 787s successfully introduced to Air India's fleet, passengers are enjoying breakthrough features such as larger windows, lower cabin altitude and unprecedented flying experience," Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president of Asia Pacific and India Sales, said. Two of these planes are already being flown in the domestic sector.
The South Carolina plant's Vice President Jack Jones said, "In just under three years of breaking ground, we've flown and delivered our first airplane built here. This is a tribute to the remarkable Boeing South Carolina team and the support we've received from our airline customers, our supplier partners, the Boeing enterprise".
The Dreamliner is the first commercial jetliner made primarily of advanced composite materials. It offers exceptional passenger comfort features including cleaner air, higher humidity, bigger windows that dim electronically and more overhead storage space.
The aircraft's fuel efficiency is 20 per cent better than other airplanes in its class, which also results in 20 per cent lower carbon emissions, the Boeing statement said.