State-run carrier Air India's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner landed in Delhi today. The 256-seater aircraft touched down at Terminal 3 of Delhi's Indira Gandhi International airport at around 5 pm. This is the first of the 27 Dreamliner aircraft ordered by Air India.
The aircraft has 18 full-flat business class seats with flat-bed recline, and 238 economy class seats.
The carrier will take delivery of two more Dreamliners in the next few weeks.
With these new aircraft, Air India, which intends to get 14 of them by March next year, would launch flights on several long-haul international sectors, including new services to Australia, later this year. For the next few weeks, the Dreamliner would be operated on the domestic sectors, including Delhi-Mumbai, to enable the pilots and crew get accustomed to its landings and take-offs.
Air India was the second carrier globally to have placed orders for this aircraft, but delay in clearing of the agreement further delayed the plane's deliveries to Air India.
Airlines that have inducted and are already operating this aircraft are Japan's All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines and Ethiopian Airways.
The plane is made of carbon composite material, which makes it light-weight and therefore is considered less fuel guzzler. Boeing claims the plane consumes 20 per cent less fuel compared with the similar-sized B-767s and better fuel efficiency implies lower flying costs.
According to Boeing, as many as 47 airlines across the world have ordered nearly 900 Dreamliners.
The long-range, twin-engine aircraft has four variants, with the longest-range variant capable of flying over 15,000 kms non-stop.