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Air India's Dreamliner takes to the skies again


State-run Air India on Wednesday resumed flights of its Dreamliner jets four months after global regulators grounded the Boeing planes following technical glitches in the passenger aircraft.

All 50 Dreamliners operating globally were grounded in January after a fire aboard a parked Japan Airlines 787 in January and a smoking battery that forced the emergency landing of an All Nippon Airways 787 the same month.

The US Federal Aviation Administration approved Boeing's new battery system design last month, which allowed airlines around the world to begin modifying the Dreamliner planes.

"We treat the Dreamliners as a game-changer for us as this aircraft will improve our revenues over the years," debt-laden Air India Chairman Rohit Nandan told a news conference in New Delhi.

He added that the carrier will replace its eight older Boeing B-777s with Dreamliners.

"We will either sell or lease them... We are already in discussion with Boeing to help us in this matter," he said, declining to give details.

Air India owns six Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

On Tuesday, India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation gave the green light to resume operation of the planes.

"We resumed service with two flights today and we would be starting flying Dreamliners to London on May 22 which will be followed by flights to Frankfurt and Paris," said G.P. Rao, a spokesman for the national carrier.

"Both the flights were overbooked," Rao told AFP.