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Which plane PM will take on his return home?

PTI 15 Apr 2015, 21:24:40 PM IST

New Delhi: Air India would take a decision tomorrow whether to fly Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the plane that was grounded in Berlin or continue using the standby aircraft to ferry him back home after it receives a report on the engine problem-hit aircraft's airworthiness.  

A team of engineers was dispatched to Berlin after a problem in one of the engines of the Air India One Boeing 747-400 plane was detected on Monday, forcing the carrier to fly an standby VVIP aircraft from Mumbai to Berlin in the early hours of yesterday.

“The engineers are carrying out boroscope inspection of the aircraft. Based on the outcome of the inspection, we will decide whether the Prime Minister should fly back home on Saturday in the same plane or the one which took him to Canada,” sources said.

The airworthiness report is expected by tomorrow, they said.

The borescope inspection of the engine is conducted to evaluate its condition, and, if necessary, monitor under a cycle limitation, repair or remove it before a failure of the engine components.

The aircraft is currently grounded at Berlin's Tegel airport.

Air India has five double-deck B747s in its fleet to fly the President and the Prime Minister.  Air India One, a Boeing 747-400 had carried Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Delhi to Berlin after halts in Paris, Toulouse and Hannover.

The Prime Minister had left Delhi for Paris on April 9 and is scheduled to return here on the morning of April 18.

The standby plane, kept in readiness in Mumbai, had left early Tuesday morning for Berlin and was used for flying the Prime Minister and his entourage to Ottawa in Canada on the last leg of his three-nation tour.

Air India has also sent some additional cabin crew along with the aircraft.

The national carrier keeps one of its jumbo aircraft on the standby mode for such situations.