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Air India gets final clearance to take delivery of 787s

Air India has received the final approval from the government to start taking delivery of its first Boeing 787 aircraft.

The country's cabinet committee on economic affairs has given the green light to the civil aviation ministry's proposal for the flag carrier to take delivery of the aircraft, as it has inked a compensation settlement package with Boeing.

"The cabinet vote is a key milestone for Air India. We are currently in discussion with the airline and will work with them to identify a timetable for delivery," says Boeing when contacted.

This, however, does not mean that all issues related to the aircraft have been resolved.

"The issue relating to compensation for failure to meet performance guarantees has been delinked from the delay compensation settlement agreement, which shall be negotiated separately after actual evaluation of the performance of the inducted 787," the ministry of civil aviation said in a statement.

The US National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating an engine failure incident that occurred on a 787 during a taxi test in Charleston, South Carolina on 28 July. The aircraft involved is apparently built for Air India.

Boeing India president Dinesh Keskar has meanwhile told local media that Air India will start preparations this week to take delivery of its first 787. It is understood that three 787s are ready for delivery.

Air India has 27 787s on order. It was initially scheduled to receive the first aircraft in September 2008, but this was pushed back because of delays on the 787 programme.

The cash-strapped carrier had been due to take delivery of its first 787 in early June, but refused to do so until it finalised a compensation amount.

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