Air India One, a highly secured VVIP aircraft modeled on US President's aircraft 'Air Force One', arrived at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport on Thursday. The plane that arrived from Texas today comes with an impregnable audio and video communications system that can function mid-air. Air India One will be used to fly the President of India, Vice President and the Prime Minister. Air India One, which will be operated by the Indian Air Force, also boasts of a missile-defence system for emergency.
The modified Air India One is a Boeing 777 aircraft, part of Air India's fleet that will be carrying the Prime Minister and other VVIPs. The plane is also equipped with a sophisticated missile defence system and is capable of mid-air refuelling in case of emergencies.
I stand corrected. It is still going to be called Air India One until Air India is privatised, after which it will likely be called Indian Air Force One. However the two aircraft have been completely retrofitted and are not in Air India colours. This is one of them below, VT-ALW. https://t.co/InYamJouJC pic.twitter.com/qUSRGSIdoC— Sanjiv Kapoor 🇮🇳🇺🇸 (@TheSanjivKapoor) October 1, 2020
The aircraft landed at the IGI Airport at around 3.30 pm.
It had initially served in the fleet of Air India in 2018 before being flown back to a Boeing facility in San Antonio, Texas, where it was fitted with the latest air defence protection technology. Boeing was able to provide the latest tech to Air India's aircraft under an India-US high-tech deal.
In terms of livery, the aircraft dones the national emblem and the name 'India' and 'Bharat' written in both Hindi and English on either sides of the aircraft, while the national flag is present on the tail wing.
Originally scheduled to arrive back in July 2020, the handing over of the retro-fitted aircraft was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
At present, the President, Vice President and the Prime Minister travel on Boeing 747 aircraft which will hold the coveted call-sign of 'Air India One'.
(Air India One Photo Courtesy: Kevin Boydston)