The airline has signed a lease agreement to purchase six ex-Etihad Boeing 777-300ER. Out of these six, one named Kriya and registered as VT-AER was delivered on August 3, 2023. Further, the aircraft is approximately 10 years old and belongs to Altavair AirFinance.
Air India Boeing 777 Route
If we check on Air India’s official website, the airline flight results for Delhi to London for Sep 1, 2023, show the deployment of Boeing 777-300ER.
The DEL-LHR route is currently served by the Boeing 787-8 aircraft. The airline operates 2X and 3X daily flights on alternate days.
The airline will continue with the same seating configuration as used by Etihad Airways. This includes a three-class configuration and will have a total of 330 seats.
Subsequently, the 777-300ER has 8 first-class seats or closed suites, 40 Business Class seats or flat bed seats, and 282 standard economy seats.
DGCA Registration for Six 777s
Here’s the DGCA registration for upcoming Boeing 777s and their Manufacture Serial Number (MSN).
Registrations are :
1) MSN 39686: VT-AEM
2) MSN 39687: VT-AEN
3) MSN 39688: VT-AEO
4) MSN 39869: VT-AEP
5) MSN 39690: VT-AEQ
6) MSN 41701: VT-AER
Apart from this, the airline also plans to lease three ex-Singaporean 777s.
AI to Lease Ex Singaporean 777-200ER
This move comes in addition to the existing 11 leased 777 aircraft and aims to facilitate the gradual phasing out of the older 777-200 planes that were inducted in 2009.
The latter aircraft have drawn passenger fury over the years due to outdated cabins, including crumbling seats, broken lavatories, and malfunctioning seat-back entertainment screens. Air India has officially announced the sale of these older aircraft to address these concerns.
The three Boeing 777-300 ER planes, which were retired by Singapore Airlines in 2021 as part of post-COVID-19 fleet adjustments, are well-maintained and boast four-class cabins. This includes first class and premium economy sections, reported Economic Times.
Aviation A2Z sources confirmed that these planes are parked at Singapore Changi Airport (SIN). Further, they have the registration 9V-SVK, 9V-SVM and 9V-SVN.
Further, an ET source within the industry commented on the decision. He stated, “The 777-200 models are fuel guzzlers, accommodating only 238 passengers. Refurbishing them would be impractical.”
Subsequently, Air India’s expansion plans involve returning 28 previously grounded aircraft to service and a confirmed order for new aircraft and engines exceeding $80 billion.
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