Air India Dreamliner windshield cracks while landing in Australia

NEW DELHI (AFP) - An Air India Dreamliner windshield cracked while landing in Australia, an airline official said on Monday, the latest in a string of mishaps the aircraft has suffered in recent times.

The Delhi-Melbourne-Sydney-Delhi flight, carrying 74 passengers, developed a crack late on Sunday while landing in Melbourne, Air India spokesman Praveen Bhatnagar told AFP on Monday.

"The cockpit windscreen developed a crack while landing. It was a small incident. The windscreen has already been replaced," said Mr Bhatnagar, adding that there was no risk to the safety of passengers.

While all passengers were transferred Sunday to another flight to Delhi, Air India flew in a new windshield from India to replace the cracked one.

The Air India Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet has recently been suffering technical glitches, including an incident where the fuselage panel of a jet fell off last month while landing in the southern city of Bangalore.

The Dreamliner has encountered several serious difficulties since entering operation two years ago, especially with its batteries, causing the entire fleet to be grounded for about four months earlier this year.

But Air India dismissed any claims of technical glitches on the Melbourne-bound flight.

"It was no aircraft glitch. This may have happened due to rapid change in temperatures or some other particles on the windscreen while landing," said Mr Bhatnagar.

Scandinavian operator Norwegian Air Shuttle has also criticised the plane's reliability after it found a flaw in the electrical system.

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