Air India dismisses 787 grounding reports

Singapore
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Air India has dismissed media reports that its Boeing 787 fleet was grounded recently for a software upgrade.

An Air India spokesman confirms that the software of its Boeing 787s has been in the process of being upgraded since 1 December, but clarifies that the work did not require the grounding of the entire fleet.

“When the aircraft go for checks, they get the software upgrade,” he says.

He adds that the upgrade is routine, and not specific to Air India’s 787 fleet. For each aircraft, the upgrade takes three to four days, he says.

“We hope to complete the upgrade soon,” he adds.

Erroneous reports about a grounding followed comments by minister of state for civil aviation Shri KC Venugopal to India’s parliament on 10 December that the fleet had been grounded for 10 days from 1 December for the software upgrading work.

Venugopal stated that the “modification is being sequentially carried out on each Dreamliner aircraft during a 10-day maintenance grounding with effect from 1 December 2013.”

Flight tracking website FlightAware shows that Air India 787s were, indeed, operational during 1-10 December. According to Flightglobal’s Ascend online database, Air India operates 11 787-8 aircraft, with another 16 on order.