Air India Takes Delivery Of New “Air India One” Boeing 777-300ER

Air India primarily uses Boeing 777s and 787s for their longhaul flights. Their 787s are reasonably decent, and feature fully flat business class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration.


Air India’s 787 business class

Their 777s, on the other hand, are more outdated. The planes feature an ancient first class cabin, and business class seats are in a 2-3-2 configuration. The 777-200LR has angled seats in business class, while the 777-300ER has fully flat seats in business class.


Air India’s 777 business class


Air India’s 777 first class

While Air India has taken delivery of all the 787s they have on order, the airline still has three Boeing 777-300ERs on order. They’re taking delivery of their third to last 777 right now, and they just shared pictures on social media of the new plane. Here’s a picture they shared of the plane’s exterior (the plane is called “Punjab,” and has the registration VT-ALV):

What’s exciting about the new 777-300ER is that it features a significantly better business class product than they have in the rest of their fleet, as you can see based on the pictures:

Economy continues to be in a generous 3-3-3 layout, which is rare nowadays for a 777:

Of course my initial reaction was “wow, this plane actually looks pleasant to fly in. When will it be in service?”

Well, there’s some bad news on this front. Two of Air India’s newest 777s will be used as “Air India One,” which is the plane used by the President, Vice President, and Prime Minister. Presently they use some outdated 747-400s for this purpose (Daniel reviewed an Air India 747 a while back), but they’re retiring those as soon as these 777s are in service.


Air India’s 747 first class

These 777s aren’t anywhere close to even being used as Air India One, though. The new plane just completed the 14 hour flight from Paine Field to Delhi, where it will be for some Republic Day celebrations, and then it will return to the US for major modifications, including them reconfiguring the interior, installing anti-missile systems, etc.

It’s sad to me that Air India’s brand new 777 has a better interior than the other planes, even though they’re about to make major modifications to it. It’s likely that this plane won’t be in service until the second half of the year. It’s my understanding that two of the new 777s will be used as “Air India One,” so hopefully one of the 777s will be in service as part of Air India’s commercial fleet within the next year or so, with this interior. Or who knows, given Air India’s record, maybe they’ll just use the plane for parts.

(Tip of the hat to Live from a Lounge)

Comments

  1. Why would you fit a full passenger version on the plane, fly it to Delhi and return, plus strip it back completely for presumably major modifications altogether ? Without having done much own research on this, something about this story doesn’t quite add up

  2. Maybe plans have changed, but my understanding from a few months ago was that ALV is due to go into passenger service and the next 2 are the ones slated for VIP fit-out.

    There was also discussion ongoing at the time about taking all 3 new deliveries for passenger service and to push a couple of the higher cycle 77Ws to the VIP fleet to balance maintenance requirements, but that seems to have gone nowhere.

  3. Indians being Indians…. to think that people in Florida call cops when McDonalds runs out of chicken nuggets lol

  4. The interior looks new, but otherwise the same as any other AI 777 business class. Nothing to see here.

  5. Just a caution: According to a local Newspaper, AI plan on using the new 777s on domestic routes. So if u wanna fly it international u gotta wait till around September.

  6. Did they finally remove F from their 777s. It seems odd that they would not share a picture of F otherwise.

  7. The final two are intended for VIP service, before which they are stopping in Israel to undergo some added mods before finally arriving to India for final mods and coms installations. The interior will be vastly different and not publicized although the non-essential personnel section (i.e. press core sections) will remain as Y. Most modifications will occur up front where the VIPs and the heads of state will be seated. Info from MEA friend and avgeek. Just for the record, the interior of the AI 747s are modified significantly before being used for government travels.

  8. @19nixxon91
    It’s called bureaucratic incompetence. It’s the same in all countries with large governments

  9. Air India has been put on sale and TATA group will buy it hopefully within 2018. It was originally their airline which the govt had nationalized forcefully several decades back.

    It has sucked enough Indian taxpayer money and it’s time for it to be privatized!

  10. Uhhhh… Not sure how the 777 participated in the Republic Day Parade, but sure if you say so.

    Happy Republic Day! Hats off to the Indian PM in walking along the Raj Path instead of opting to hide and drive away in his motorcade.

  11. Boeing designs a basic 777 body and offers a variety of luxury designs to choose from and countries with deep pockets (NOT FOR THEIR BRAINS) then place an order and takes its delivery. Welcome to the modern world that Indians are seeing in this report that produced some idiotic reader reactions!

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