Grounding of Dreamliners knocks wind out of AI’s sails
The carrier will be forced to replace Dreamliner flights with the less fuel-efficient Boeing 777s and Boeing 747s, which will mean an escalation in its fuel bill over the previous three months. The airline will also be forced to delay the launch of new lucrative routes, such as Sydney and Melbourne.
“There will be an impact on the fuel bill also, maybe to the tune of 25-30% (over what it was with the Dreamliners),” said a senior Air India official on the operations side. “The 777s and 747s are gas-guzzlers and that is why we had begun to replace them with the 787s.”
A Boeing 787 consumes 20% less fuel than a similar aircraft. Air India had started to put in place the 787s on routes where Boeing 777s were flying, with replacement on the Delhi-Paris route happening only last week. The national carrier was able to turnaround previously unprofitable routes, such as Delhi-Frankfurt, mainly due to the fuel efficiency of the Dreamliners.
Air India has also been forced to fly the Boeing 747 in its fleet. The jumbo jet, which has four engines and consumes much more fuel than modern aircraft, has been
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