New Delhi follows FAA lead and grounds Air India 787s

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India has ordered the grounding of all Boeing 787s in the country, following the lead of the US Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday, 16 January 2013.

Flag carrier Air India is the only 787 operator in the country, with six 787-8s in service. Jet Airways is due to receive its first 787 in early 2014.

"The US FAA issued an airworthiness directive this morning. We are following that and have ordered the grounding of all Indian 787s," says an official at the directorate general of civil aviation, who declined to be identified.

"After yesterday's [Wednesday's] emergency landing, we ordered Air India to conduct the initial inspections. This includes checking the batteries for any discolouration, spillage of electrolytes and anything else that was found in the All Nippon Airways [ANA] 787 yesterday.

"We will know what else to check for once we get more information from the FAA and Boeing, and we expect that later today. Once we have that, we will conduct more checks on the 787s if it is necessary. Therefore, the grounding could take several days."

Air India confirms that it has "temporarily suspended" the 787 operations pending the inspections. The airline operates the aircraft on services to Frankfurt, Paris, Dubai and on some domestic services.

Flightglobal's Ascend database shows that the carrier is due to receive seven more 787s in 2013, including one at the end of January, two in February, two in March, one each in May and October. A spokesman was unable to say "at this point" if the issue will affect the upcoming deliveries of the 787 to the airline.