AI suffers from boeing's delay; 111 planes now by 2012 end

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Hyderabad, Oct 7 (UNI) Air India's plans to ramp up its fleet, inducting 111 new Boeing-787 aircraft, has suffered a serious setback as US-based manufacturer will not be able to keep the schedule of early 2012, a delay which could be six months to one year.

The public sector international carrier which operates across the globe says the Boeing was groping with technical problems in the making of the 787 variant of passenger jet. Besides, the recent strikes at the Boeing facility in the US had added to the planemakers' woes.

Air India (AI) had ordered 111 new variants of the aircraft for Rs 44,000 crore about two years back and the US aircraft major had signed to deliver all the 111 Boeing-787 to AI by early 2012.

''But because of the delay on the Boeing's part, the entire fleet of 111 new Boeing-787 is likely to be delivered, as of now, by the end of 2012,'' Air India Chairman and Managing Director Raghu Menon said during a media interaction here today.

Till now, 38 Boeing aircraft had been delivered and the 39th Boeing will be delivered to Air India on October 16 while the India Aviation 2008 Expo will be on at Begumpet Airport here.

A day earlier, coinciding with the inauguration of the India Aviation 2008 expo, airbus 319 from the Frech Toulose plant will be inducted into Air India's fleet.

Boeing will be among one of the 150 exhibitors and 35 CEOs from across 25 countries will attending the four-day India Aviation 2008 Expo which begins here from October 15.

UNI DB PK HT2354

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