Air India Now Owns a 777-300ER That Isn’t Complete Garbage

Jan 25, 2018

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Last May, I experienced Air India’s long-haul product for the very first time. All I can say is that it was not a good flight.

In fact, it was so not-good that my disdain for Air India has become a running joke at TPG. I’ve more or less vowed never to fly the airline’s decrepit 777-300ER again, and then this guy popped up:

Well, what have we here? This looks like a legitimately excellent airliner. It’s clean, as you’d expect for a plane that was just delivered from Boeing on Wednesday, and the product actually looks pretty nice and up-to-date.

While you can’t tell from the pictures, my guess is that Air India’s kept the 2-3-2 arrangement of its older 777s, though the seats appear to be the same model available on Turkish’s newer 777-300ERs — which alone is a big improvement, believe it or not. Even better, Air India’s maintaining a comfortable 3-3-3 configuration in coach, rather than the 3-4-3 we’re seeing almost every carrier move to these days.

Live From a Lounge also reports that there are four seats in a first-class cabin up front, though Air India neglected to share pics of any of those in its social posts this week. We did get a look at business class, though:

Photo courtesy of Air India.
Photo courtesy of Air India.

The product resembles Air India’s 787 Dreamliner offering, which Eric Rosen reviewed in 2016.

Photo courtesy of Air India.
Photo courtesy of Air India.

The 3-3-3 economy looks a-okay as well, and if these seats remain on the VVIP planes (more on that below), I imagine quite a few will go out empty.

Photo courtesy of Air India.
Photo courtesy of Air India.

So when can you get onboard? First, the good news — VT-ALV is just one of three new 777s that Air India’s adding to its fleet. (Woohoo! Maybe I’ll actually get to fly one some day!)

But, well, not so fast… according to The Economic Timestwo of those three new planes will be assigned to “VVIP” flights, carrying politicians and other people far more important to India than you and me. That does leave one for the rest of us, though, and since all three should be delivered by the end of February, the aircraft designated for commercial service could begin flying passengers before winter is through.

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