Featured Image: Nomadic Aviation Group

Air India Bids Farewell to Four Boeing 747-400s

DALLAS – Air India (AI) has sold the last of its Boeing 747-400s to a US aftermarket commercial jet engine and parts supplier.  

The Indian flag carrier has bid farewell to four Boeing 747-400 aircraft, of which the first one departed Mumbai (BOM) on April 22. According to a report by The Economic Times, AI’s last four Boeing 747-400 aircraft have found a new owner.

The new owner of these jumbo jets is the US-based company, AerSale, a supplier of aftermarket commercial jet engines and parts. Two of the aircraft are likely to be converted to freighters, while the others will be disassembled for their parts.

Air India last operated flights with its Boeing 747s in 2021. Since then, they’ve been parked at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (BOM). 

Many of AI's long-haul routes are now operated by the Boeing 777s. Photo: Nick Sheeder/Airways

The End of an Era

For many years’ the Boeing 747 was the mainstay of AI's flight operations and was used to operate its long-haul international flights. AI took first delivery of its first Boeing 747 on March 22, 1971. The aircraft entered service on May 21 in the same year, with four weekly flights between India and London. It had 423 seats in a triple-class configuration.

The Queen of the Skies defined India’s golden age of air travel back in the day. The aircraft served several routes and added capacity to Air India’s network with improved fuel economics compared to previous generation planes. AI went so far as to brand the upper deck of its Boeing 747s as "Your Palace in the Sky," with its special amenities including lounges and bars and a unique menu.

Air India Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. Photo: Roberto Leiro/Airways

New Owners for AI’s Queens of the Skies

After acquiring the airline in January 2022, the Tata Group instructed UK-based remarketing firm Skytech-AIC to sell the four remaining Boeing 747s to interested parties. 

Since then, the airline had been busy trying to find buyers for these jets, and it appears that the deal was recently completed. As reported by ch-aviation, until last week, only one of the aircraft had been sold. While agreements for the remaining three planes have been signed, they remained unfinalized. 

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