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Air India’s last VVIP Boeing 747 now found a new home in USA

Air India's B747 Makes Its Final Journey, Waving Farewell to Fans
Image:Wikipedia

In a symbolic transition marking the end of a storied chapter in aviation history, Air India bid farewell to its last remaining Boeing 747-400 jumbo jetliners, once revered for ferrying dignitaries including prime ministers, presidents, and vice presidents.

The sale of these iconic aircraft to AerSale, a company based in the United States, signals the closure of a remarkable era for the airline.

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The decision to part ways with the Boeing 747s was driven by practical considerations. Tata Group, the new custodian of airindia flights, deemed these majestic planes uneconomical to operate in today’s aviation landscape. As such, out of the four sold, two will be repurposed into freighters, while the remaining pair will be meticulously disassembled to harness their valuable parts.

The transaction, orchestrated by Mumbai-based Vman Aviation Services, underscores the strategic shift in Air India’s fleet management strategy under its new ownership. Tata Group’s decision to divest from the 747s reflects a commitment to optimizing operational efficiency and aligning with contemporary industry standards.

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Skytech-AIC, a UK-based remarketing firm engaged by Tata Group, facilitated the sale of these iconic aircraft, marking the conclusion of their illustrious service with Air India. The airline’s last flight featuring the Boeing 747 took to the skies between Delhi and Mumbai in March 2021, encapsulating decades of distinguished service and indelible memories.

The allure of used aircraft parts continues to resonate across the aviation sector, offering operators a cost-effective alternative without compromising on quality or performance. The transfer of these aircraft to AerSale not only ensures their continued utility but also underscores the enduring legacy of Air India’s fleet.

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FAA reveals that 300 Boeing planes could result in fuel tank explosions

FAA reveals that 300 Boeing planes could result in fuel tank explosions

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has brought attention to a concerning issue with Boeing aircraft that could lead to fuel tank explosions, adding to the litany of safety concerns surrounding the aerospace giant’s products.

According to a proposed rule from the FAA, Boeing’s 777 liner has been found to have dangerously poor electrical insulation near its fuel tank, posing a significant risk of ignition and subsequent fire or explosion. This revelation comes amid heightened scrutiny of Boeing’s aircraft due to several recent incidents highlighting potential safety flaws.

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The impacted aircraft encompass nearly 300 Boeing 777s across the United States, including various models such as the 777-200, -200LR, -300, -300ER, and 777F series. In response to the discovery, the FAA has proposed a $14 million solution to address the issue across all 292 affected US-registered airplanes.

The proposed solution involves the installation of electrical bonding and grounding components in the center fuel tank, as outlined in the proposed Airworthiness Directive (AD) issued by the FAA. This comprehensive repair process includes extensive inspections, lasting approximately 90 hours per aircraft, followed by the installation of Teflon sleeves and cap fasteners in specific areas of the fuel tanks.

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Crucially, the financial burden of these repairs would not fall on Boeing but on the operators and airlines that own the affected aircraft. The proposed timeline for completing the repairs extends up to 60 months.

Boeing, in response to the FAA’s proposed rulemaking, expressed its full support for making the guidance mandatory and emphasized that the issue does not present an immediate safety-of-flight concern. The company highlighted the multiple redundancies built into modern commercial airplanes to mitigate risks from electromagnetic effects.

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Airbus A340s Join SpiceJet Fleet for Delhi-Bangkok Flights, Replacing Boeing 737s

Airbus A340s Join SpiceJet Fleet for Delhi-Bangkok Flights, Replacing Boeing 737s

In a strategic move aimed at accommodating the surge in demand during the holiday season, SpiceJet has announced a significant upgrade to its Delhi-Bangkok route.

The airline revealed plans to swap out its narrow-body Boeing 737s with wide-body Airbus A340s, marking a substantial increase in seating capacity and comfort for passengers. Commencing on May 31 and extending until June 20, 2024, travelers on the Delhi-Bangkok route can expect a notable enhancement in their flying experience.

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The introduction of the Airbus A340s, with a seating capacity of 324 passengers per flight, promises to meet the escalating demand for travel between the two bustling destinations.

SpiceJet’s commitment to providing unparalleled service to its customers, particularly during peak travel periods. By leveraging the larger capacity of the A340s, the airline aims to ensure that passengers have greater flexibility and convenience in planning their journeys.

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The decision to upgrade to wide-body aircraft comes at a time when Bangkok continues to allure Indian travelers with its vibrant blend of work and leisure opportunities, further facilitated by visa-free entry for Indians. Recognizing the importance of catering to this growing demand, SpiceJet’s move is poised to strengthen its position in the market and solidify its reputation for customer-centric innovation.

It’s worth noting that SpiceJet’s utilization of the Airbus A340s extends beyond the Delhi-Bangkok route. The airline currently operates two A340s, sourced from Romanian operator Legend Airlines, primarily for Hajj pilgrimage flights.

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IndiGo to introduce business class Service on its busiest routes 

IndiGo to introduce business class Service on its busiest routes 

After nearly 18 years of dominating India’s aviation landscape with its single-class economy configuration, IndiGo, the country’s largest airline, is set to make a significant leap by introducing business class service on its busiest routes.

The decision comes as IndiGo aims to offer passengers more choices and enhanced comfort amid the backdrop of a burgeoning economy. Set to be unveiled around August, coinciding with the carrier’s 18th anniversary, IndiGo’s “tailor-made business product” promises to redefine the flying experience for its customers.

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This move follows closely on the heels of IndiGo’s recent announcement of acquiring 30 wide-body aircraft, indicating the airline’s strategic expansion and commitment to catering to diverse passenger preferences.

IndiGo’s foray into business class service represents a significant milestone, especially considering its longstanding reputation as a low-cost carrier focused primarily on economy class offerings. With a fleet exceeding 360 planes and operating approximately 2,000 daily flights, the airline’s entry into the business class segment is poised to reshape the Indian aviation industry.

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Currently, Air India and Vistara are the sole providers of business-class seats on domestic routes in India. However, by December 2024, IndiGo will join this exclusive league, introducing its bespoke business class experience tailored to meet the evolving needs of discerning travelers.

Initially, IndiGo’s business class operations will be rolled out on the busiest domestic routes, ensuring passengers enjoy added comfort and luxury during their journeys. Further details regarding the official launch date, specific routes, and promotional offers will be disclosed by August 2024, heightening anticipation among passengers eagerly awaiting this premium service.

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