The recently privatized flag carrier of India has put out a tender to sell all of its Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, according to Live Mint. Interested parties have up to August 16th to submit their bids for these airframes.
About the aircraft
Air India wants to sell all three of its Boeing 777-200LR airframes. These planes are registered as VT-ALF, ALG, and ALH, with MSNs 36305, 36306, and 36307, respectively. The planes are all similarly configured in a three-class layout with a total of 238 seats, comprising 195 in economy, 35 in business class, and eight first class seats.
All the planes were produced and delivered to the Indian flag carrier in mid-2009, making them approximately 13 years old. During its lifetime, VT-ALF has logged 45,177 flight hours, VT-ALG has raked up 42,825 flight hours, while VT-ALH has 36,448 flight hours to its name, according to data from ch-aviation.com. The popular aviation website values these aircraft at $32.24 million each, however, the actual value is likely to differ based on market trends and other specific information.
Air India seems to have taken full advantage of the longest flying aircraft in its fleet. Back in early 2021, the flag carrier began using the 200LR to fly between Bengaluru (BLR) and San Francisco (SFO), its longest route yet. The launch service became especially well-known since the airline flew it with an all-female cockpit crew for all of 17 hours.
The route was later dropped in May 2021 following the rise in COVID-19 cases in India. Air India again started flying the service a few months later in November, but not for long, as flights ended in March 2022, data from flightradar24.com shows. Currently, all three airframes are used to fly between Delhi (DEL) and San Francisco (SFO), in addition to occasional domestic hops.
Air India fleet moving forward
Air India has a fleet of around 120 aircraft, excluding the four Boeing 747s recently taken off active service. The fleet comprises around 45 widebody aircraft like the Boeing 787 and 777 that are used to support the bulk of AI’s international operations. The carrier operates two types of 777s: the 200LR and 300ER variants.
Air India is quite possibly on the onset of a major fleet overhaul. Photo: Tom Boon | Simple Flying
In the past few weeks, rumor mills have been running in overdrive over a possible order for new widebodies for AI by the new management. However, the Tatas haven’t made a decision so far. If speculation is to be believed, Air India could soon become the first Indian carrier to fly the Airbus A350 in Indian skies. Only time will tell.
In the meantime, AI’s new CEO has finally received government clearance to sit at the helm. It will be interesting to see how Campbell Wilson pilots the Indian flag carrier in the coming years.
Source: Live Mint