Air India completes Boeing deal with US plane-maker

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Air India completed a Boeing deal with a US planemaker after taking delivery of its 23rd and the last Boeing 777 plane on Saturday.

The 777 plane will cover long routes. The deal completes 68 aircrafts orders placed with US planemaker more than 10 years ago.

An airline source said that the last B777-300 ER that bears registration number VT-ALX can carry almost 300 passengers. The flight landed at the Indira Gandhi International airport in the capital on Saturday.

The flight took off from Seattle on Thursday and was expected to reach New Delhi on Friday. The New Delhi-San Francisco flight came a day late as one of the pilots suffered a cardiac arrest, the source added.

Earlier an Air India flight AI 173 traveling from New Delhi to San Francisco with 215 passengers onboard was diverted to Sapporo airport on a Japanese island due to a medical emergency on March 5.

A spokesman from Air India confirmed that a deal of 68 orders was placed in 2006. The fleet up-gradation and expansion plan included 27 Dream liners, 15 B777-300ERs, eight B777-200 LRs and 18 B-737-800s.

50 of these planes were for AI and remaining 18 (B737s) for its international budget arm Air India Express.

A downturn in the global aviation sector postponed the delivery of three B777-300 ERs with no cancellation allowed at the time of the deal.

The delivery started in September 2015.

Air India has decided to keep only one among three planes.

The national carrier will replace two-year-old jumbo jets B747-400 that currently ferry VVIPs (the president, vice-president and the prime minister).

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