Air India Boeing 787 departing Melbourne in the morning light. Photo: Author

MIAMI — An Air India 787 Dreamliner diverted to Kuala Lumpur on Thursday after software glitches caused the airplane’s flight management systems to go blank, according to reports. The airplane, which was flying as Air India 301, landed safely in the Malaysian capital city.

Boeing confirmed that it was “aware of an in-service issue with Air India” and said it was “working with the airline” on returning the airplane to service.

The incident is the latest in an ongoing string of issues that Air India has faced with its Dreamliner fleet. Late last year a large panel was found missing after an airplane landed in Bangalore.

Around the same time technical problems on ground led to a handful of cancellations, while a windshield later cracked while landing in Melbourne. The carrier presently operates twelve Dreamliners and has 27 left on the order books.

The Dreamliner has faced its fair share of problems, but so too has Air India, which has a less than spectacular reputation for safety. Indeed, the Bangalore panel incident is widely believed to have been human error on the part of the airline.

The issues boiled to a head last Friday as the carrier, along with the all other Indian airlines serving the US, faced a safety rating downgrade by US aviation officials. The FAA cited a lack of safety oversight in making its decision.

The downgrade prevents carriers from adding extra flights to the US and more closely scrutinizes existing flights. The country expects to resolve the outstanding issues that led to the downgrade as soon as possible.

Regardless of whose fault it is- and this does seem more likely to be another Dreamliner teething issue – it is yet another notch in the ever-growing battery of problems the airplane continues to face.

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