Air India was the only Indian carrier that operated this iconic aircraft which was inducted under founder JRD Tata. Earlier this year AI’s four B747s were deregistered by the DGCA. The airline recently asked a UK-based firm to sell these nearly 30-year-old jumbos.
At 76.2 metres, the B747-8 is the longest commercial aircraft in service. At typical cruising speeds, the 747-8 travels roughly the length of three FIFA soccer fields or NFL football fields, per second. The final airplane is a 747-8 freighter with a revenue payload of 133.1 tonnes.
Pics of the last Boeing 747 to be ever made by Boeing
“For more than half a century, tens of thousands of dedicated Boeing employees have designed and built this magnificent airplane that has truly changed the world. We are proud that this plane will continue to fly across the globe for years to come,” said Kim Smith, Boeing VP and GM for the 747 and 767 programmes.
The Air India B747s were till a couple of years back used both for regular commercial and VVIP flights. It was termed Air India One when operating as the VVIP aircraft. Now two modified ex-AI B777s serve as the dedicated VVIP aircraft and they are called India One.
The Maharaja’s first B747, named Emperor Ashoka, had joined AI fleet in 1971. With the 747s, AI under JRD Tata had set new levels of inflight luxury. It had introduced a new “Palace in the Sky” livery and for this aircraft. The tastefully decorated staircase to the upper deck; jharokha flight panels; dewans and bar were way ahead of their time when introduced onboard these beautiful machines in the 1970 by JRD himself. AI is the only commercial Indian airline ever to operate four-engine, double decker aircraft.