PM inducts AI's new B777 for direct US flights
New Delhi, July 28: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today inducted five of the 111 new planes being acquired by Air India (AI) and Indian for direct flights to the United States and cargo operations.
Two days ago, the flagship carrier took delivery of its first Boeing 777-200LR (long range) Worldliner. AI will be the first India-based operator to offer direct, non-stop flights from Mumbai to New York's John F Kennedy International Airport starting August 1.
As the process of merger with India (Airlines) move on, AI will receive three more B777-200LRs and three 777-300ERs (extended range) airplanes later this year. Its 11.6 billion dollar order for 68 Boeing jetliners, placed in December 2005, was the largest commercial airplane order in India's civil aviation history in terms of price.
The order consisted of 23 777s, including eight 777-200LR Worldliners and 15 777-300ERs, and 27 787-8 Dreamliners.
Additionally, AI Express the low-cost subsidiary ordered 18 next-generation 737-800s.
The 777 family of airplanes is popular with passengers and airlines because of its fuel-efficient twin-engine design, high reliability, low operating costs besides comfortable and spacious interior. It is the market leader in the 300 to 400 seat segments, capturing more than 65 per cent of that market, Boeing says.
AI operates 170 flights a week, carrying over five million passengers a year to 59 cities worldwide from various points in India. AI Express operates 116 services a week to 10 destinations in the Gulf and southeast Asia.
The freighter Airbus 310 aircraft will make four trips in a week via Bangalore and Chennai to Frankfurt and Paris.