New Delhi: Air India One is expected to be fully upgraded, customised and put into service by 2020. This after senior government officials said that new planes - Boeing 777s - for the President, Vice-President and Prime Minister are receiving the upgrades as per schedule.
Air India inducted three Boeing 777s in February and March of 2017 and these are now being retrofitted with features, conveniences and security systems which are mandatory for flying the top three top-ranking political figures in the country. Two of the three 777s are being upgraded with a VIP enclosure, press conference room and a patient transport unit for medical emergencies. The aircraft will also have WiFi on board and would be equipped with top-notch anti-missile systems, radar-dodging mechanics and other security features. However, the biggest difference between the new 777s and the Boeing 747s which are currently in service to transport VVIPs is that the new planes can fly non-stop to the United States - mitigating the need for refuelling halts. Cutting-edge communication systems, in-flight kitchen and a personal room for the VVIP is also expected. Powering the plane are two GE90-115BL engines - considered the most powerful of all aircraft engines in the world.
A senior government official also revealed that the government will buy these planes from Air India once they are completely upgraded and deemed ready for service.