The two Japanese carriers, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines, have already grounded 24 of these aircraft.
“Following the FAA directive to ground all Boeing 787 Dreamliners till Boeing satisfies the regulator of no safety issue in these planes, we have asked Air India to ground all its Dreamliners. The Dreamliners will not fly till we are satisfied of these planes being safe,” DGCA chief Arun Mishra told The Indian Express.
Air India officials said they were making arrangements for the routes on which its Dreamliners were flying, and had requested passengers booked on these flights to check with the airline.
AI operates three international — Frankfurt, Paris and Dubai —and three domestic — Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata — flights from Delhi with Dreamliners. A senior AI official said flights to Frankfurt and Paris would be merged and operated by a Boeing 777.
“The flight to Dubai will be merged with various flights we have to the same destination. The flights on domestic routes will also be merged... this should not be a problem since the domestic destinations are connected by multiple flights,” the official said.
ANA and JAL grounded all their Dreamliners on Wednesday after an ANA flight made an emergency landing after its pilots smelt something burning and received a cockpit warning for battery problems. On January 7, a similar incident had happened in Boston. The failure of the lithium ion batteries “resulted in release of flammable electrolytes, heat damage and smoke on two 787 airplanes,” the FAA said.
Since January 11, the FAA and Boeing have been probing the battery failures, it said, adding “these conditions, if not corrected, could result in damage to critical systems and structures, and the potential for fire in the electrical compartment.”
Following the FAA directive, the US-based United Airlines, Qatar Airways and Ethiopian Airlines too grounded their 787 fleet, and the Europe-based LOT Polish Airlines deferred a plan to start an inaugural B787 flight.
In September 2012, AI had experienced a glitch in a Dreamliner’s liquid cooling system and electrical power system, which had led to the grounding of all three of these aircraft at that time. The aircraft returned to the sky after these faults were rectified.
Had the Boeing 787s been made by a Russian or Indian company for that matter, the western media would have been at full blast reporting day and night at every 15 minutes Breaking News blasting the Russian or Indian company of putting passengers lives at risk and being technically incompetent just as they are doing now for the nuclear power plants through western funded NGOs. However since the company making the planes is a US company western media is muted in condemning Boeing for the planes while at the same time praising Boeing for taking steps to remedy the defects.