New Delhi, October 01:
A custom-made B777 aircraft for VVIP travel will arrive in India on Thursday from the United States.
The B777 (Air India One) aircraft will be used to fly the president, vice-president and the prime minister, according to government officials quoted in the report.
The plane’s delivery was scheduled by the aircraft manufacturer Boeing to Air India in August, but the delivery was delayed due to technical reasons.
Senior officials from Air India had earlier reached the US during the first half of August to receive the plane from Boeing, they added.
Air India One, the call sign of the aircraft, will land at the Delhi airport from Texas at around 3 pm on Thursday.
Meanwhile, another custom-made B777 plane for the travel of VVIP is likely to be received from Boeing later, according to the officials.
The report said the initial expected delivery for both the VVIP planes was in July, but the delivery was delayed due to the Covid-19 situation.
When VVIPs travel on the B777 aircraft, it will be operated by pilots of the Indian Air Force and not Air India.
As of now, the president, vice-president and prime minister fly on Air India’s B747 planes under the Air India One call sign.
Air India pilots fly these B747 aircraft for the dignitaries and the Air India Engineering Services Limited (AIESL) maintains them.
When the B747 aircraft are not flying VVIPs, they are used by the national carrier for commercial operations. However, the new B777 aircraft will only be used for travel of the dignitaries.