In mid-may this year, when Air India resumed flying its Dreamliners, it was hoping for a good response from passengers; however, it has not been the case as flight booking for these aircrafts has been low.
Air India grounded all its six Boeing 787s in January after a global directive was issued by American aviation regulator to all airlines that operated Dreamliners. This directive was a follow-up to the two fire incidents, one in Boston and other in Japan, involving these Boeing aircrafts caused by the overheating of their lithium-ion batteries.
This came as a set back for India’s national carrier that has placed an order for 27 such Dreamliners to Boeing. The only respite for the carrier came from the fact that Boeing agreed to compensate for the loss caused by the battery problem.
Battery Problem Resolved
In an attempt to damage control after the reported incidents, Boeing developed new battery casings to prevent overheating of batteries. Even though the battery issue has been resolved, passengers are still apprehensive about boarding Dreamliners. Subsequently, this apprehension has affected the ticket sales of Boeing 787s. According to a senior Air India official, there was no problem with Dreamliner aircrafts in India, and they were only grounded as a precautionary measure. Air India is hopeful that it would be able to clear all negative perceptions regarding Boeing 787s.
To encourage travellers to fly with Dreamliners, Air India has slashed its ticket prices for these aircrafts to as low as INR 2,530. The airline expects to woo passengers back with their attractive fares. When booked 60, 30 or 14 days advance, passengers can avail these tickets only for INR 2,530, INR 3,181 and INR 3,790, respectively. Though these cheap flight tickets are sure to grab the attention of many travellers, it remains to be seen whether it will turn the fortunes in favour of India’s national carrier that is still recovering from huge losses.