The high-profile event saw in attendance Shri Ajit Singh, the Minister for Civil Aviation, Government of India and top officials from Air India, as well as UK VIPs, politicians and dignitaries. Also in attendance were a host of foreign and UK press, who were all keen to hear more about Air India’s new Boeing 787 Dreamliner as well as about the airline’s exciting plans for the future.
The event began with a cocktail reception before the distinguished guests were ushered into the Grand Ballroom for a sumptuous feast of fusion Asian cuisine. Proceedings began with a recitation of an ancient prayer to Lord Ganesha, which asked for the ‘path to be made smoother, so that the journey could be taken further’.
Mr Ajit Singh, Honourable Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Government of India, took to the stage for his keynote address. Mr Ajit Singh said: ‘On 8th June 1948 Air India launched its first flight to Bombay [Mumbai]. Over the last 65 years we have seen Air India’s fleet of aircraft and its operations expand consistently and successfully. Today, India connects London by three daily flights. The key travel, business and tourism hubs of India and the UK are now well connected thanks to Air India.
‘Today, we also mark the official launch of Air India’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner into the UK. The Air India network is expanding its fleet with ‘dreamliners’. The B787s will be a game changer for Air India.
‘The response from the public has been positive. The Dreamliner ushers in a new age in aircraft. It is fuel efficient, uses the latest technology and is passenger friendly. The Dreamliner will improve our performance.’
Mr Singh concluded: ‘Air India will enter into new frontiers through the Dreamliner. The Dreamliner is the next generation of flying Machine. Air India has been India’s global ambassador, and so it must live up to the expectations of every Indian.’
The ultra-modern Boeing 787 Dreamliner has joined Air India’s fleet of majestic aircraft and will be the jewel in the crown for India’s state-owned airline, which was established in 1932 under the Tata Group banner, before assuming its post-war mantle as ‘Air India’ in 1946.
After a successful phase in India, the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner has already been launched in the strategic hub of the United Kingdom, ensuring that Indo-British trade and tourism links are enhanced and developed further.
The modernised ‘Dreamliner’ will consist of pioneering technology and gadgetry, futuristic mod-cons and excellent customer service to give passengers a superbly luxuriant and efficient journey. Highlights will include large remote-controlled dimmable windows, so that passengers can control the amount of light that streams into the cabin. A hybrid aircraft of both low cost and full service carriers, the ‘Dreamliner’ will have a more fuel efficient outlay.
Rohit Nandhan, Chairman & Managing Director, Air India explains: ”Due to the growing passenger demand for our flagship aircraft and the route, we are proud to bring the state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner to the United Kingdom, offering passengers the opportunity to experience this revolutionary aircraft and the best service in the sky first-hand.
‘The United Kingdom represents an important market for Air India and ranks in the top three countries on Air India’s global network. Central to this relationship is the on-going support for promoting Indian tourism and trade provided by adding larger capacity aircraft between countries, and this B787 for the UK will further complement our partnership with the United Kingdom.
‘Air India would like to thank the loyal support we continue to receive from the UK communities, in sustaining Indo-British relations. We are committed to promoting and strengthening tourism and business further between India and the UK.
‘When you fly with Air India you get a complete service, as we are dedicated to maintaining excellent customer service, competitive fares and providing a first-class experience for all Air India travelers.’