The year 2020 will see Air India One which is expected to be fully upgraded, customised and put into service by then. This after senior government officials said that new planes – Boeing 777s – for the President, Vice-President and Prime Minister are receiving the upgrades as per schedule.
Air India inducted three Boeing 777s in February and March of 2017 and these are now being retrofitted with features, conveniences and security systems which are mandatory for flying the top three top-ranking political figures in the country. the upgraded versions of two of the three 777s will have a VIP enclosure, press conference room and a patient transport unit for medical emergencies.
Along with that the aircraft will also have WiFi on board and would be equipped with top-notch anti-missile systems, radar-dodging mechanics and other security features. However, the biggest difference between the new 777s and the Boeing 747s which are currently in service to transport VVIPs is that the new planes can fly non-stop to the United States mitigating the need for refuelling halts. Cutting-edge communication systems, in-flight kitchen and a personal room for the VVIP is also expected. Powering the plane are two GE90-115BL engines – considered the most powerful of all aircraft engines in the world.
A senior government official also revealed that the government will buy these planes from Air India once they are completely upgraded and deemed ready for service.
Earlier Disinvestment-bound flag carrier Air India has taken delivery of its 23rd and the last Boeing 777 plane which can be used in ultra-long haul routes, and thus also completing 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, an airline source said.