Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aircraft is basically a flying fortress

It’s safe to say that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been bitten by the travel bug. Ever since he took office, he’s taken 64 international trips, visiting six continents and 47 countries. Considering the amount of time he spends being airborne, it’s safe to assume that he isn’t hot air balloon-ing it across the globe. The leader of the world’s largest democracy ought to be hooked up with a state-of-the-art sky-chariot.

 Air India’s government issue Boeing 747-400 (call sign Air India One), isn’t all-that state-of-the-art, but it is quite the flying fortress. A symbol of yesteryear luxury, the original Jumbo Jet is about as stately as they came. By today’s standards, it’s a pretty old bird, which is why the PM will soon be upgrading to a 777. But more on that in a bit.

 At present the PM has access to two aircrafts. A 747-400 which he uses for long-distance international trips (such as the one to the US) and a modified Indian Air Force Boeing 737-800 BBJ for short-distance international and domestic trips. While the 747-400 isn’t specially configured for the PM (VIP3), it has a separate enclosure with an office and a bedroom that are available only to him and the President (VIP1), who along with the Vice-President (VIP2) is the only other dignitary allowed to use Air India One. When not being used by VVIPs however, Air India uses the aircrafts for commercial use.
27/06/17 Parth Charan/GQ