Air India receives first of their leased Boeing 777-200LRs

In September, it was announced that Air India would undergo a temporary fleet augmentation while they finalised their long-term plans. This included many narrow-body aircraft but also five Boeing 777-200LR, which were earlier with Delta, but they decided to convert them into freighters during the pandemic. That plan must have been put on hold to lease them out to Air India for the time being. Air India recently announced new flights between India and the US, where these aircraft could be used.

Air India receives the first of their five B777-200LRs

The five aircraft inducted into the Air India fleet will be registered VT-AEE, VT-AEF, VT-AEG,  VT-AEH, and VT-AEI. Two of the five aircraft were sent to the engineering shop in Singapore, and the first one was flown into Delhi yesterday evening to Delhi Airport. The aircraft, which was earlier registered as N702DN and named The Spirit of Atlanta, is now registered as VT-AEF and will be named Vihaan.

Co-incidentally, VT-AEF used to be the registration of A Prototype Atalanta aircraft, built in 1931, which served with the Indian Transcontinental Airways, which ceased operations in 1948. It could be just a coincidence that the AEF registration was picked for this aircraft.

Here are some pictures of the aircraft once it landed in Delhi, courtesy of Athul Suresh, a planespotter based in Delhi.

a large white airplane with red writing on it a large white airplane with a large engine an airplane at night the tail of an airplane at night

You will note many changes compared to the earlier Air India liveries. For instance, there are no branding elements on the engine cowlings. But the biggest of note is the Jharokha windows, which are not on this aircraft. It could be the case that they may be added at the Air India hangar/MRO in India or might not be used at all. Also, the paint is not off-white, but white in this case.

One interesting thing to note is that some work is left on the paint, with the spot where the Spirit of Atlanta was written not being painted properly.

a large white airplane with red writing on it

If you look at the windows closely, you will also note the Blue mood lighting, which would have been as it was on the Delta aircraft. As such, it does not look like that has been tinkered with for now.


Air India has received the first of their five leased B77L aircraft and will now work on its induction. We should see domestic flights, which would also be used for training before they take to the international skies. It has been named Vihaan and registered as VT-AEF.

What do you think will be new inside these ex-Delta 777 aircraft?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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