Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Air India to Keep its Ageing Boeing 747 Fleet Operational, Says MoS Civil Aviation V K Singh

Air India has no plans to phase out its B747 aircraft which have an average age of about 26 years, Minister of State for Civil Aviation V K Singh recently said in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha. “As on date, there are four B747-400 aircraft in Air India fleet and their average age is about 26 years," Singh stated. Currently, three of the four B747 aircraft are under maintenance checks, he mentioned. “At present, Air India has no plan to phase out the operation of Boeing 747 from the fleet," he stated.

In July last year, British Airways had announced that it will phase out its entire fleet of 31 B747 aircraft due to downturn in travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Many airliners in the West and the Middle East have used the window of Coronavirus lockdowns to replace the ageing Boeing 747 fleet with modern Boeing 777 or Airbus aircrafts.

Recently Air India run Boeing 747 duo for VVIP transport including the Prime Minister and the President of India were phased out and replaced with Boeing 777. As per, India’s national air carrier operated a further nine examples of the most popular variant of the 747. The current fleet of four remaining aircraft were inducted between 1993 and 1996.

The Air India 747 has three-class, 423-seat configuration with functional upper deck. The lower deck has 12 first class flatbeds in the plane’s nose and 385 economy seats. The upper deck houses a four business class cabin with 26 angle-flat seats.


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