787 in Air India livery. Courtesy, Boeing
Indian civil aviation minister Ajit Singh ended months of speculation about whether struggling state-owned Air India (AI) may cancel a portion of the 27 Boeing 787s it has on order, telling reporters Tuesday that all of the aircraft will be taken by the airline.
"It should be a good plane…We are not cutting any orders," he told reporters, according to multiple media accounts from India.
Reports last year indicated that AI was considering canceling up to half of its Dreamliner order (ATW Daily News, Oct. 27, 2011).
AI's 787s are expected to start delivering next year. Financing for the aircraft is at the crux of a controversy in the US (ATW Daily News, Nov. 17, 2011) over the US Export-Import Bank's (ATW Daily News, March 21) support of non-US airlines' purchases of Boeing aircraft.
AI has been pressing Boeing for monetary compensation for 787 delays. The carrier is reportedly $4 billion in debt but is being kept afloat by the government, which has ruled out similar financial support for another troubled Indian carrier, privately held Kingfisher Airlines (ATW Daily News, March 15).