Air India Dreamliner returns to base with communications glitch

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by Air India had to return to London this week due to a transponder problem, India's national carrier disclosed today, adding that the plane is now back in operation.

The aircraft's transponder failed during the flight on Sunday from London to New Delhi, Air India spokesman G P Rao said in New Delhi, adding there was no immediate safety concern. The plane was back in operation on Monday after engineers fixed the transponder, he said.

The 787 has suffered a series of glitches since its launch two years ago. Overheating batteries in some planes forced the grounding of its worldwide fleet last year. Flights resumed in April 2013 (See: FAA approves Dreamliner's redesigned battery system)

Discount airline Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA said on Tuesday that a fuel leak on a 787 Dreamliner caused a flight from Bangkok to Oslo to be delayed by 19 hours.

This is not the first glitch in the Dreamliner that Air India has seen either. Earlier one of its 787s had a windshield crack while another saw a body panel falling off during a flight last year (See: Air India hit by Dreamliner glitches).

Boeing is upgrading the software in some of Air India's Dreamliner jets, even as the government-supported airline seeks to lease or sell back its 787 fleet in order to pare its heavy losses. (See: Air India getting rid of Boeing Dreamliners, 777s to shore up books)

Air India has ordered a total of 27 Boeing 787s, of which 11 are operating while another three are scheduled to be delivered by March.