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'Dreamliner never put the lives of passengers at risk'

October 30, 2013 17:24 IST

'Dreamliner never put the lives of passengers at risk'

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The makers of the 787 Dreamliner aircraft, Boeing, on Wednesday expressed concern over recurring glitches on the plane while at the same time insisting that it was a machine which had never caused issues with the safety of passengers.

"We are concerned (about the problems with Dreamliner). It's a machine, we did our best to design it... but something happens. It is a safe airplane, it has never caused issues with the safety of passengers," Dinesh Keskar, Senior Vice President (Sales, Asia-Pacific and India) of Boeing said.

When asked about the incident of a panel in the belly of a Dreamliner aircraft falling off at Bangalore airport, he said, "It never put the lives of passengers or the aircraft at

risk as it was just an access panel and not the pressurised one (which could have proved dangerous)."

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A 8x4ft panel in the belly of a Dreamliner operated by Air India, which was carrying around 150 passengers, fell off as the plane from Delhi was landing at Bangalore airport on October 12.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation, along with Boeing and Air India, is probing the incident. Keskar, meanwhile, said there had been misinformation about the incident.

"The probe by DGCA is on... we would not be able to say anything until (the report) is out. But I would like to make three things clear.

"First, the panel fell off at Bangalore airport. Second, the panel has been recovered and, third, it never put the lives of passengers or the aircraft at risk," he said.

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Photographs: Reuters

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He added that they were in constant touch with Air India, and had even deputed officials from the company as well as from the vendors to help it in case of such incidents.

"We have an operations control system which monitors every 787 aircraft in flight and we get to know about what is happening to every 787 in flight," he said.

Air India has ordered 27 Boeing 787 aircraft, of which it has received nine. The 10th aircraft is likely to arrive in India in the first week of the November.

The Dreamliner has been facing many problems, starting with cases of its battery catching fire in January, which forced airlines across the world, including Air India, to ground their entire fleet of the aircraft for about four months. 


Photographs: Reuters

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