Friday, December 25, 2020

Air India Appears Ready To Refurbish Two Boeing 777-300ERs

Air India is considering refurbishing two of its Boeing 777-300ERs with its latest business class product. The airline will reportedly use the seats from the “Air India One,” the two VIP 777s which were recently upgraded. The seats from the old aircraft have since been flown to an Air India facility, possibly to be retrofitted. Let’s find out more.

Air India has long been criticized for its aging product on the flagship 777-300ERs. These aircraft are deployed to long-haul routes in the US, Canada, and Europe, making them integral to the fleet. However, the business cabin is in a 2-3-2 configuration with flatbed seats, far behind the competition on similar routes.

However, there was some hope that Air India would upgrade its seats to the latest product). In 2018, Air India took delivery of two new 777-300ERs from Boeing, which featured an upgraded cabin design.

The product was fairly similar to that on the 787. The business class seats feature an ottoman for a true flatbed experience, and the cabin had a refined look to it, with an upgrade IFE and controls. Economy class continues to stay in the generous 3-3-3 configuration, offering more width and legroom than other carriers, along with new IFEs.

However, these aircraft never made it to the skies. After flying a handful of rotations, they were chosen to serve as the VIP aircraft for the Indian government. The planes were whisked away to Boeing’s Dallas facility for an extensive refit of the cabin. The new Air India One’s arrived in India in October, officially taking the role of India’s VIP planes.

While the two 777s with the new cabin may have upgraded to VIP interiors for the President and PM, the old seats have since returned. According to Hindustan Times, the interiors from the 777-300ERs have arrived in Air India’s MRO (maintenance, repair, and overhaul) facility in Nagpur.

Air India has already completed delivery of all its widebodies, which means the airline is looking to retrofit the cabin on one of its older 777s. It’s unknown which aircraft Air India will choose for an upgrade, with its oldest 777s being over 13 years old. However, the upgraded product will be welcome on any aircraft at this point.

25/12/20 Pranjal Pande/Simple Flying

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