Air India Begins Flying Former Delta 777-200LRs

It’s a giant day for Air India. Not solely has the airline at the moment launched nonstop flights between Mumbai and San Francisco, however the route is being operated by a fairly particular aircraft.

Air India picked up six former Delta Boeing 777s

A number of months in the past we discovered how Air India could be leasing roughly 30 planes. That is meant as a short lived resolution to fulfill the rise in journey demand. Air India has a little bit of a aggressive benefit on lengthy haul flights proper now, for the reason that airline can use Russian airspace on flights to North America, in contrast to airways from the US and Canada.

These leased planes embrace six Boeing 777-200LRs, all of which initially flew for Delta Air Strains. Delta retired its 777 fleet at the beginning of the pandemic, and I suppose Air India received a fantastic deal on these jets.

Air India including these planes to its fleet has a few fascinating implications by way of the passenger expertise. Shortly earlier than Delta retired these jets, the airline spent tens of thousands and thousands of {dollars} outfitting these planes with new interiors. The planes have Delta One Suites, that includes direct aisle entry and doorways. Additionally they have premium financial system, which is a product Air India traditionally hasn’t provided.

Delta enterprise class cabin Boeing 777
Delta premium financial system cabin Boeing 777

Suffice it to say that this can be a huge enchancment over Air India’s earlier inflight product. The airline shall be spending $400 million reconfiguring the interiors of its Boeing 777s and Boeing 787s, although that’s a long run venture that can begin in mid-2024. Air India can be anticipated to put a giant new plane order for long run fleet renewal, however that hasn’t been finalized but.

Within the meantime, suffice it to say that this…

Delta enterprise class

…seems to be slightly higher than this.

Air India enterprise class

The primary former Delta 777 is now flying for Air India

The primary former Delta Boeing 777-200LR has entered service with Air India as of this week. Particularly, the roughly 15 yr outdated jet with the license plate VT-AEF is now flying.

Whereas the aircraft has the Air India livery, it’s a bit completely different (and easier) than the usual livery. It doesn’t have the crimson painted round every window, as you’ll discover on the remainder of Air India’s fleet.

So, what are the interiors like? Air India has executed virtually nothing to alter up the cabins, so they need to look very acquainted.

It appears the seats haven’t even been reupholstered, however relatively the Delta logos have simply type of been scratched off the seats. For instance, the headrests used to have the Delta brand in crimson — you may nonetheless see the place it was once if you zoom in, nevertheless it’s not crimson.

Air India hasn’t modified loads about these planes

So whereas this isn’t precisely on-brand for Air India, I doubt any passengers used to Air India’s inflight product shall be complaining, since this represents an enormous enchancment.

This explicit jet has entered lengthy haul service as of at the moment, flying between Mumbai (BOM) and San Francisco (SFO). This route will function 3x weekly with the next schedule:

AI179 Mumbai to San Francisco departing 2:30PM arriving 5:00PM
AI180 San Francisco to Mumbai departing 9:00PM arriving 3:40AM (+2 days)

The 8,406-mile flight is blocked at 16hr to the US, and 17hr10min to India.

Backside line

Air India has simply began service with its first former Delta Boeing 777-200LR. The aircraft will now be flying 3x weekly between Mumbai and San Francisco, and represents a really good improve to the Air India passenger expertise. Enterprise class passengers can take pleasure in suites with doorways, and this additionally marks the introduction of premium financial system at Air India.

What do you make of those forner Delta 777s flying for Air India?

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