When it comes to aircraft maintenance, Air India would score in the lower parts of the list if there were any. Under Government control for long, the airline’s maintenance was shoddy, and most widebody aircraft desperately needed an upgrade. The new ownership, while buying new aircraft, is also working on a complete refit of the existing aircraft, for which Air India has earmarked USD 400 million dollars.
Air India to lease 3 Singapore Airlines 777-300ERs
While it secures its own aircraft (the A350-900 will arrive this year, the rest 2025 onwards), Air India needs to augment its fleet in the short term. Towards this, the airline first signed up for five 777-200LR aircraft, which belong to Delta Air Lines, and these are currently being used to operate flights to US destinations from Mumbai and Bengaluru. Four of the five ex-Delta 77Ls have joined the fleet, and the fifth one will join soon. Air India will also induct six 777-300ER aircraft that belong to Etihad Airways. However, work is proceeding slower than Air India might like. The first of six ex-Etihad 777ER will be registered as VT-AER.
The Economic Times now reports that Air India will also induct three Boeing 777-300ER aircraft belonging to Singapore Airlines. As per ET, Air India will let go of their own Boeing 777-200LR aircraft (they had eight long back, five were sold to Etihad, and now three remain in the Air India fleet).
Singapore Airlines let go of some aircraft in 2021, and Air India is picking from these aircraft. Not only are their own aircraft currently in need of a lot of rework, the airline needs them quickly. While their own aircraft are configured for 238 passengers, the 77Ws of SQ are configured for 264 passengers in the following configuration:
- 4 first-class seats (1-2-1)
- 48 business class seats (1-2-1)
- 28 premium economy seats (2-4-2)
- 184 economy class seats (3-3-3)
Whenever this happens, expect to fly this Business Class product on some Air India routes.
Which will be a lot better than the currently flying Air India 777 angled flat seats.
While there is no official intimation, per ET reporting, Air India will add three former Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ERs shortly to its fleet, replacing its Boeing 777-200LR aircraft with these aircraft. Also, six ex-Etihad 777-300ER will come into the fleet soon, to make it a total of 14 slightly loved 777s in the fleet of Air India. This part is a part of Air India’s fleet augmentation plan while the new aircraft get ready to come into the fleet.
What do you think of Air India’s move to add former Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300s to its fleet?
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