Air India starts test flights on 787s

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Air India has started initial test flights on its first modified Boeing 787, and expects all six of its Dreamliners to return to commercial service by the end of the month.

Two of the carrier's 787s have received modifications to their lithium-ion batteries, including the installation of a new containment system, the carrier says.

Air India carried out its first test flight on 9 May on the Mumbai-New Delhi route, with a "stop, back-track and take-off" from Ahmedabad.

Further test flights will be carried out between Delhi and Amritsar. These test flights will also help pilots meet the mandatory requirements for requalifying to operate the  type, says Air India, adding that the crew have so far been "satisfied with the performance of the machine".

"The test flights will continue for the next few weeks and all six Dreamliners in the fleet are expected to be back in the skies by the end of the month," says the carrier.

Prior to the 787's grounding on 16 January after incidents involving Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways aircraft, in which the aircraft's lithium-ion batteries overheated, Air India used its Dreamliners on services from Delhi to Frankfurt, Paris and Dubai.