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Air India showcases first refurbished aircraft

Staff Correspondent

Upgradation programme to cost the airline Rs. 300 cr.


  • The new carrier will operate to the U.S.
  • Five more aircraft to get facelift

    — PHOTO: SHASHI ASHIWAL

    FULL MAKEOVER: V. Thulasidas (right), Chairman and Managing Director, Air India, unveiling the refurbished Boeing 747-400 aircraft, first of the six aircraft to undergo a total makeover, in Mumbai on Friday.

    MUMBAI: Air India on Friday unveiled its refurbished Boeing 747-400 aircraft, the first of six aircraft that will undergo a total makeover. The aircraft is christened `Agra' and will operate to the U.S. destinations of New York, Newark and Chicago.

    Air India has for the first time undertaken a major in-house cabin refurbishment and in-flight entertainment upgradation programme at an estimated cost of Rs. 50 crore for each aircraft, thus totalling to Rs. 300 crore for the six aircraft.

    The cabin has been upgraded with all new economy seats, cushions and upholstery; the new i4000 in-flight entertainment system from Thales is installed on every seat back including the economy seats with audio and video on-demand and other interactive entertainment. Also, all passengers will have access to personal screens with 415 gigabytes of content — nearly 200 movies in English, French, Japanese and some regional ones.

    Besides, new overhead bins and aircraft side panels, a new overhead ceiling for the cargohold, freshcoat of paint for the side trims, cockpit trims and new toilets are part of the refurbished aircraft. All these were supplied by Jamco, a Japanese cabin interior equipment provider. Health Tecna was selected for the interior scheme and components and new seats were provided by the Texas-based Weber Aircraft. Air India is acquiring 68 new aircraft, which will boast the latest amenities. Seven of the 18 aircraft ordered for Air India Expresshave already been inducted in its fleet. The first of the 50 new aircraft for Air India will join the fleet in June. With the induction of the Boeing 777 aircraft, the airline will launch ultra-long range, non-stop services between India and the U.S. Thereafter, Air India will introduce one-stop services to several American cities from multiple points in India.

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