Age impact: Air India asks team to improve condition of B747

The Asian Age.  | Neha L.M. Tripathi

Metros, Mumbai

The letter accessed by The Asian Age is addressed to the Air India Engineering Services Ltd CEO, HR Jagannath.

A seat with broken hand-rests; A broken panel inside the Air India Boeing 747.

Mumbai: A day after The Asian Age reported about the plight of passengers travelling aboard a poorly-maintained Boeing 747 by the national carrier on the country’s busiest Mumbai-Delhi route, Air India authorities have instructed, in writing, their engineering department to repair and maintain the aircraft. The airline has, meanwhile in order to attract passengers, also decided to increase the baggage limit to 50kg from 25 kg on the aircraft.

The letter sent to the Engineering department has pointed out the need for the airline to improve the condition of the aircraft. The letter accessed by The Asian Age is addressed to the Air India Engineering Services Ltd (AIESL) CEO, HR Jagannath. The letter written by the Regional Director of Western Region, Mukesh Bhatia has asked the department to not only asked take required repairing action in order to improve the aircraft washroom and seats, but also to give feedback once the broken materials like the hand rests, the lose wirings and the emergency buttons in the washroom are all repaired and in place.

In a statement issued to the media on Friday, AI stated, “In view of recent media reports about shortcomings regarding onboard facilities for passengers, Air India management has taken a strong cognizance and have instructed corrective measures to ensure enjoyable and delightful experience for the passengers.” The Asian Age on Thursday had reported about the poor maintenance of the only B747 that the airline started operating from December 13, 2016.

Moreover, AI on Friday went ahead to announce baggage allowance up to 40kg and 50kg of free check-in baggage for economy and business class passengers respectively, on Boeing 747 Delhi- Mumbai service. The passengers flying on will be able to use this facility by Saturday, January 7. Currently, Air India allows 25kg in economy class and 35kg in business class of free check-in baggage on its flights as compared to 15kg offered by other airlines.

Air India is the only carrier to operate the 423 seater; four engine jumbo jet wide body aircraft B747 on the busiest route of the country. The aircraft offers 26-business class and 12-first class seats on the upper deck. The wide body has better leg room (82 inches in the first class, 57/59 inches in the business class and 31/34 in the economy class), as compared to the regular narrow body aircrafts that operate on this route. For this, the airline is offering fares starting from Rs 15000 onwards for travel in first class till January 15, 2017.