Arrival of custom-made B777 airplane for VVIP journey delayed as a consequence of technical causes

New Delhi, August 25

The arrival of the VVIP plane from the US, which shall be used to fly president, vice chairman and prime minister, has been delayed as a consequence of technical causes, senior Air India officers stated on Tuesday.

The airplane was scheduled to reach in India throughout the first half of this week, the officers famous.

Senior officers of the nationwide provider reached the US earlier this month to obtain the airplane from plane producer Boeing, the officers stated.

Another custom-made B777 airplane for the journey of VVIPs is more likely to be obtained from Boeing in September, they famous.

It was anticipated that the supply of those two planes, that are earmarked for VVIP journey solely, can be carried out by July. However, as a consequence of COVID-19, their supply has been delayed by a couple of weeks.

During the journey of the VVIPs, the 2 B777 plane shall be operated by pilots of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and never of Air India, an official stated.

Currently, the president, vice chairman and the prime minister, fly on Air India’s B747 planes, which have the decision signal “Air India One”.

Air India pilots fly these B747 plane for the dignitaries and the Air India Engineering Services Limited (AIESL) maintains them.

When these B747 plane should not flying the dignitaries, they’re utilized by the Indian nationwide provider for industrial operations.

The new planes shall be used for journey of the dignitaries solely. These two plane had been a part of Air India’s industrial fleet for a couple of months in 2018 earlier than they had been despatched again to Boeing for retrofitting them for VVIP journey.

The B777 planes can have state-of-the-art missile defence methods referred to as Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) and Self-Protection Suites (SPS).

In February, the US agreed to promote the 2 defence methods to India at a value of USD 190 million.

The Centre has already initiated the method of divestment of its stake in Air India, which has a debt of over Rs 60,000 crore. However, the method has been postponed as a result of COVID-19 pandemic. PTI


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