Air India may get custom-made B777 planes for VVIP travel by September

Air India may get custom-made B777 planes for VVIP travel by September

New Delhi: Two custom-made B777 plane, which will probably be used to fly Prime Minister Narendra Modi and different prime Indian dignitaries, are more likely to be delivered by Boeing to Air India by September, senior officers mentioned on Monday.

In October final 12 months, authorities officers had mentioned that the supply of those two planes, that are earmarked for VVIP journey solely, can be finished by July. “There has been some delay, primarily because of COVID-19. The two planes are likely to be delivered by September,” the officers mentioned on Monday.

The two B777 plane will probably be operated by pilots of the Indian Air Force and never of Air India. However, the brand new wide-body planes will probably be maintained by the Air India Engineering Services Limited (AIESL), which is a subsidiary of the Indian nationwide provider, the officers mentioned.

Currently, the prime minister, the president and the vp fly on Air India’s B747 planes, which have the decision signal ‘Air India One’.

Air India pilots fly these B747 plane for the dignitaries and the AIESL maintains them. When these B747 plane will not be flying the dignitaries, they’re utilized by the Indian nationwide provider for business operations.

The new planes will probably be used for journey of the dignitaries solely. These two plane had been a part of Air India’s business fleet for a number of months in 2018 earlier than they had been despatched again to Boeing for retrofitting them for VVIP journey.

The B777 planes could have state-of-the-art missile defence methods known as Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) and Self-Protection Suites (SPS).

In February, the US agreed to promote the 2 defence methods to India at a price of USD 190 million. 

The Centre has already initiated the method of divestment of its stake in Air India, which has a debt of over Rs 60,000 crore. However, the method has been postponed as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

Air India and Boeing didn’t reply to the queries despatched by the PTI on this matter. 

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