Air India Boeing 777 (the 200LR and 300ER variants) and Boeing 787-8 form the backbone of the long-haul fleet of the airline. The airline has a few Boeing 747-400 aircraft as well, which are used for sorties of the Prime Minister/ President and Vice President, operating as Air India 1. They are also operated on some scheduled flights, but not too many.
Now the airline has completed the induction of all their Boeing 787-8 planes, and while my first impression of those planes was not so great, the airline has built a good experience around it as I realised on my last business class flight in their 787-8.
The airline still has 3 planes on order, all Boeing 777-300ERs, which they delayed delivery for while they found the money for them. The airline now has started taking delivery of these planes. The airline has just received delivery of the Boeing 777-300ER which is registered as VT-ALV and named Punjab, and this is being flown in from Everett to Delhi as I write this post.
Air India has not done much different with this plane, just like it did not do anything with the Boeing 787-8s. So, these planes are coming with the standard-fitted seats from Boeing, and four seats in First Class.
Here is how it looks inside. The Business Class seats are similar to the Boeing 787-8 seats, which is the standard Boeing-fitted seat. This is a lie-flat seat and a huge step-up from the angled seats in the earlier Boeing 777-300ERs in service as of now.
In the back of the plane, the airline has done nothing different as well. Which is a good thing, because you can still have a 3-3-3 configuration in Economy as compared to a 3-4-3 which many airlines are going with, including fellow Indian carrier Jet Airways. However, the colour scheme is still off, and Air India really does not care!
While it is 66% probable that these seats would be pulled out and the plane would be retrofitted for VVIP use, it could still be possible that one of these 3 new planes could come your way and would be operating on the long-hauls, including the new Delhi – Los Angeles which is still on the roadmap for the airline to launch.
What do you think about the new seats on these Boeing 777-300ERs from Air India?