Sunday, August 01, 2021

Air India Plans To Keep Its Boeing 747 Fleet

The onset of the coronavirus pandemic last year prompted several airlines to prematurely retire their remaining Boeing 747s. However, this has not been the case everywhere. Indeed, Air India is set to retain its last four jumbos for the time being. This comes after a recent statement from the country’s Minister of State for Civil Aviation regarding the 747s.

According to reports in the Indian media, the country’s flag carrier Air India is set to buck industry trends by keeping its remaining Boeing 747s in its fleet. While the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has expedited fleet modernization programs at airlines worldwide, Indian media outlet Business Today reports that the jumbo still has a place at Air India.

This is not the first time this year that the future of the airline’s last four 747s has made headlines. Indeed, in March this year, the Indian flag carrier confirmed that the jumbo was still part of its plans, after retirement rumors emerged in local publications. Earlier this week, Minister of State for Civil Aviation V K Singh stated that:

“There are four 747-400 aircraft in Air India’s fleet, and their average age is about 26 years. Currently, three of the four 747s are under maintenance checks. At present, Air India has no plans to phase out the operation of the Boeing 747 from its fleet.”

As established, Air India has four Boeing 747-400s left in its fleet. According to, the airline has, operated a further nine examples of the most popular variant of the 747. Air India received the four remaining aircraft between 1993 and 1996.

Data from SeatGuru shows that the carrier’s 747-400s sport a three-class, 423-seat configuration. As far as the aircraft’s lower deck is concerned, 12 first class flatbeds are located in the plane’s nose. The rest of this deck features 385 economy seats.

The upper deck of Air India’s 747-400s houses a four-abreast business class cabin. This features 26 angle-flat seats. According to data from, the most recent example to fly was VT-EVA. This aircraft last flew from Delhi to Mumbai on March 11th, 2021.

01/08/21 Jake Hardiman/Simple Flying

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