Posts Tagged ‘Air India’

The Maharajah – genie or phoenix?

October 9, 2021

Nationalised in 1953 with a compensation of Rs 28 million, the Maharajah has been bought free from its socialist prison for Rs 180 billion. After serving 68 years the risk is that inefficiency, incompetence and sycophancy have become habitualised and the Air India Maharajah will not be able to regain the heights.

Genie and new wonders or Phoenix destined to go down in flames and fury remains to be seen.

The Descent of Air India

May 14, 2014

I have just acquired the ebook “The Descent of Air India” by Jitender Bhargava and which was first published by Bloomsbury Publishing in October 2013. However Praful Patel the former Civil Aviation Minister sued the publishers for defaming him and applied pressure to prevent the distribution of the book. The publisher – without consulting the author – withdrew the book and apologised to Praful Patel.

So much for the courage of publishers.

DNA: Publishing giant Bloomsbury in a decision, unprecedented for its abject surrender, has withdrawn former AI top honcho Jitender Bhargava’s book The Descent of Air India, agreed to destroy copies of the book left in its stocks and tendered an apology to former civil aviation minister Praful Patel, who has been pilloried in the book as the man who caused the downfall of the airline.

I shall review the book in a few days when I have read it through.

Bhargava wrote on his Facebook page:

After the book, ‘The Descent of Air India’ was formally released on October 11, 2013 in Delhi, attempts were made by Praful Patel to obstruct its distribution. Besides ensuring that the books were not sold at airport book stores (he still appears to wield clout with airport operators); had TV channels to drop scheduled programmes relating to the book – in the case of one news channel even after the interview had been recorded; he served a legal notice, alleging that the book contents were defamatory.
He filed a case in the court of the metropolitan magistrate, Mumbai. While I told the judge on January 6, 2014, that everything stated in the book about Praful Patel is true, backed by documented evidence and will be duly justified and contested in the honourable court, the publishers, Bloomsbury, on whom also the notice was served, decided on not pursuing it, and instead agreeing to offer an apology to Praful Patel.
This decision of Bloomsbury was unilateral, and without discussing with me, as an author. Their stand thus naturally came to me as a surprise. And it may surprise you too when you see the apology of Bloomsbury published in the newspapers.
As everything stated in the book is true, based on documents, I will have the book, ‘The Descent of Air India’ reprinted either on my own or through a new publisher. Simultaneous action is being initiated to bring out ‘ The Descent of Air India’, as an ebook. I am told this can take up to four-five weeks.
Please bear the absence of the book from the book stores for a few weeks. I will be back soon because neither can I be bulldozed into submission nor can facts be allowed to be suppressed. In today’s environment, corrupt practices of all people, howsoever powerful, must be exposed.
I look forward to your understanding of the situation and support.

Through the 1970’s and 1980’s Air India was one of my preferred airlines. But since the early 1990’s it has been – for me – an airline to avoid.


Boeing 787 Dreamliner still not out of the woods

March 9, 2014

The Dreamliner woes continue with cracks in the wings found during manufacture and another emergency landing for a JAL Dreamliner. And in the meantime Norwegian Airlines is in rough seas as a consequence of their Dreamliner problems but have still ordered another four aircraft. Their eggs are all in the Dreamliner basket now but Boeing must have provided a great many sweeteners. The Dreamliners are proving not to be as fuel efficient as it was claimed they would be when they were being sold. Air India which has taken delivery of 13 Dreamliners and has a total of 27 on order is also reported to be seeking compensation from Boeing.

JAL Dreamliner makes emergency landing in Honolulu

Japan Airlines said Sunday its Dreamliner flight from Tokyo to San Francisco made an emergency landing in Honolulu, reportedly due to a possible problem with its hydraulic system.

The pilot of flight JL002, carrying 171 passengers and crew, decided to divert to Hawaii after a warning message about falling pressure of lubricant oil in its right engine, according to Japanese national broadcaster NHK.

Boeing Has a New 787 Dreamliner Headache With Wing Cracks

Boeing’s 787 is the airplane program that keeps on giving—problems. The company will inspect about 40 airplanes and delay some 787 deliveries after Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which makes the plane’s carbon fiber wing, discovered small cracks in newly built wings following a change in its manufacturing process, Boeing said Friday.

The cracked area is very small and will require repairs that will take a week or two per airplane, Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel said. “We are confident that the condition does not exist in the in-service fleet,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “We understand the issue, what must be done to correct it, and are completing inspections of potentially affected airplanes.”

Mitsubishi Heavy crafts the wings in Nagoya, Japan, and Boeing flies them to its 787 assembly plants in Everett, Wash., and North Charleston, S.C. About 17 of the 787s being inspected are fully completed, and seven have been undergoing predelivery flight tests, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported news of the cracks.

Profits down after Dreamliner dramas

Norwegian Air reported a profit in 2013 for the seventh year running on Thursday, but takings were significantly down on previous years. Major problems setting up its new long-haul routes with trouble-plagued Boeing 787 Dreamliners led to a huge amount of customer complaints, and the budget carrier angered unions and other airlines over pay conditions and its use of cheaper Asian crews. Norwegian reported its pre-tax profits for 2013 were NOK 437 million (USD 71.5 million), down from NOK 623 million in 2012. The airline lost NOK 283 million in the fourth quarter.

Norwegian orders four more Dreamliners and reports Q4 losses

Norwegian Air Shuttle announced on Thursday the lease of four more Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, despite a series of technical hitches with the planes. The contract, which brings Norwegian’s planned Dreamliner fleet to 14, was signed with the US aircraft leasing company International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) but no financial details were released.

Boeing Says Air India Unhappy With 787 Dreamliner’s Performance

Boeing Co. said Air India Ltd. is dissatisfied with the performance of its 787 Dreamliner, joining other carriers including Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA in slamming the manufacturer for repeated faults on its marquee jet. “Yes, they are not happy with the reliability portion, neither are we,” Dinesh Keskar, a senior vice president at the Chicago-based planemaker, said in an interview at the Singapore Air Show today. “Over the last few months, we understood which are the components that were causing issues, which software needs to be upgraded.”

…. Air India diverted one of its 787s to Kuala Lumpur this month as a precaution after a software fault on a flight to New Delhi from Melbourne. Boeing is upgrading software and changing some components on Air India 787s whenever the planes can be taken out of service, Keskar said, adding that a 13th Dreamliner will be delivered to the carrier this month. …… Air India, which has ordered 27 Dreamliners, will seek compensation from Boeing after the carrier found that its 787s aren’t as fuel efficient as the planemaker had claimed while selling them ……. Fuel efficiency of the Dreamliner is improving after earlier models didn’t “quite make the mark” on this count, Keskar said.

Nightmare continues: Panel falls off Air India Dreamliner in flight

October 15, 2013

A new problem every few days for Boeing with their Dreamliner but their share price does not seem to be much affected:

The Hindu: 

An Air India Boeing 787 Dreamliner. File photo

An Air India Boeing 787 Dreamliner. File photo

A large panel in the belly of a Bangalore-bound Dreamliner of Air India fell off mid-air, putting about 150 passengers on board at a grave risk, but the aircraft landed safely.

The DGCA is probing the incident which occurred on Saturday when an 8X4 feet panel in the fuselage fell off while the plane was on its way to Bangalore from Delhi, leaving a gaping hole in the cargo hold, official sources said.

There were 148 persons, including the crew, on board flight AI-803 which landed safely at the Bangalore airport, the sources said, adding that the hole was noticed by the ground staff when they came to inspect the aircraft for its return journey.

A spare panel was flown to Bangalore and fitted on the Boeing 787, which was later declared fit to fly. But the return flight was delayed by over nine hours, they said.

Confirming the incident, airline officials said a panel had fallen off but was replaced and the aircraft was cleared for flights.

“Yes, there was a gaping hole. During the normal transit inspection, it was observed. Engineers immediately rectified it,” an AI official said requesting anonymity.

“It was not an emergency. There was no safety problem,” he added.

Besides long-haul international operations, Air India operates the Dreamliners on domestic routes like from Delhi to Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata.


Air India’s first Dreamliner gets its colours

November 16, 2010

Air India‘s first 787 Dreamliner, registered VT-ANA, has been moved from the paint hangar to the Everett flight line. Airplane 25 is slated for a second quarter 2011 delivery to the Indian flag carrier.

Air India has 27 Dreamliners on order.

The VT prefix on Indian aircraft continues an old tradition and stands for “Viceroy Territory”:

The ICAO, a United Nations agency based in Montreal, was established in 1944 to draw up international regulations and standards for air travel. It is responsible for assigning the codes for airlines, airports and individual aircraft used by air traffic controllers across the world. It assigned the code VT to British India in 1944, three years before the country was divided into the independent states of India and Pakistan. India kept VT, while Pakistan was assigned AP. Britain now uses G. Several other former British colonies and territories still use codes that begin with V, such as Australia (VH), Antigua and Bermuda (V2), and the Falkland Islands (VP-F). Others have changed theirs, such as Fiji, which now uses DQ, and Kenya, which uses 5Y.

Plane 25 will be Air India's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner:Photos Credit Moonm

Air India Dreamliner VT-ANA: photo credit moonm

The black plasic on the windows is for  storage. Air India will be using General Electric GEnx engines (and the Rolls Royce Trent 1000 is the only other engine available for the Dreamliner).


General Electric GEnx - Paris Air Show 2009

Image via Wikipedia

General Electric GEnx at the Paris Air Show 2009: image Wikipedia

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