Air India takes delivery of first Boeing 787

Michelle Dunlop Herald Writer

After a long wait and much drama, Air India received its first 787 Thursday at the Boeing Co.’s South Carolina facility.

“Today is a great day for Air India as the most technologically advanced and fuel efficient airplane in the world joins our fleet,” Rohit Nandan, Air India chairman, said in a statement.

Although the delivery took place at Boeing’s North Charleston site, the 787 that was handed over was assembled in Everett. In July, Boeing flew two Everett-built 787s to South Carolina to await delivery to Air India. The carrier initially was to receive its first Dreamliner in May but a pilots’ strike and discussions over compensation for Boeing’s nearly four-year delay in delivering the Dreamliner pushed the date back.

Air India has 27 Dreamliners on order. At some point, the airline also will take delivery of the first 787 assembled at Boeing’s North Charleston facility.

“We are pleased to celebrate another historic moment in our nearly seven-decade long relationship,” said Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president of Asia Pacific and India sales for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Air India is the first Indian airline to receive a Dreamliner and the fifth airline worldwide to operate a 787.

The airline is scheduled to fly its 787 to Delhi on Friday, Boeing said in a statement.

In related news, Boeing said Wednesday that it is expanding its South Carolina site in order to meet the jet maker’s goal of building 10 787s monthly between its North Charleston and Everett sites. Most of the expansion will be to the building where Boeing builds the 787’s aft-fuselage section. Read more about the South Carolina campus’ expansion in Post and Courier story.