Airbus or Boeing: Hunt for new PM plane

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by youngindian, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. youngindian

    youngindian Senior Member Senior Member

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    9 August, २०१०

    Air India is considering acquisition of either the Airbus A-340-500 or the new Boeing 747-8 aircraft — either purchase or lease — for official visits overseas by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other VVIPs since it is phasing out the ageing Boeing 747-400 jumbo jets currently used for this purpose. Top aviation sources told this newspaper that one of these two different types of aircraft is likely to be selected by the government and Air India as the new “Air India One”. About five such aircraft could be acquired, with two being earmarked for VVIP use. The government earlier acquired three Boeing business jets (operated by the IAF) VVIP travel within India and its immediate neighbourhhod.
    While the unified Air India is still in the process of acquiring a total of 111 aircraft (from both Boeing and Airbus), for which contracts were signed with the two aviation giants a few years back, none of these aircraft was considered suitable to replace the giant Boeing 747-400s. These 111 aircraft include modern ones such as the Boeing 777 and 787 “Dreamliner”, but it was felt these were not large enough to replace the Boeing 747-400 jumbo jets as the new Air India One. “It was felt that only either the A-340-500 or the new Boeing 747-8 were wide-bodied and large enough to carry the Prime Minister and his party in place of the current jumbo jets,” sources said.
    The Airbus A-340-500, manufactured by French aviation giant Airbus Industrie, is currently being used by some airlines to fly nonstop on the 18-hour Singapore-New York route, which is considered the longest duration flight globally.
    The Boeing 747-8, on the other hand, is also a large aircraft which can seat over 450 people in three configurations. It is still undergoing flight trials and is the latest and most technologically advanced of the Boeing 747 series of aircraft.

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