India’s flag carrier Air India has taken delivery of its final and 23rd Boeing 777 plane that can be used in ultra-long haul routes.
With this the disinvestment-bound airlilne has completed its 68 aircraft orders placed with the US plane-maker more than a decade ago.
The last B777-300 ER, which can carry almost 300 passengers and bearing registration number VT-ALX, landed at the Indira Gandhi international airport in the Capital yesterday, a news agency quoted an airline source as saying.
Air India took the delivery of the last 777 aircraft from the Seattle facility of Boeing on Thursday and it was scheduled to arrive in New Delhi on Friday, the source reportedly said.
“But as the pilot who was to ferry the aircraft suffered a cardiac attack on board Air India’s New Delhi-San Francisco flight (on which he was the co-pilot), the aircraft arrived with a one-day delay,” PTI quoted the source as saying.
An Air India spokesperson reportedly confirmed the induction of the last and the 23rd 777s from the 68 orders it had placed with Boeing in 2006.
On March 5, Air India flight AI 173 from New Delhi to San Francisco carrying 215 passengers was diverted to the airport in Sapporo, which is the capital city of the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, due to a medical emergency.
As part of its fleet upgradation and expansion plans, Air India had in 2006 placed orders with Boeing for 68 aircraft –27 Dreamliners, 15 B777-300ERs, eight B777-200 LRs and 18 B-737-800s, the report said.
Of these 50 planes were for Air India and remaining 18 (B737s) for its international budget arm Air India Express, it added.