Four Air India Boeing 747s to be sold by UK-Based Skytech

UK-Based Skytech has been selected by Air India to market the sale of its 4 Boeing 747-400s that are put in storage before being retired.

Air India has operated 31 Boeing 747 aircraft in total since beginning to operate the type back in 1971. There are three different variations of this. These are the 747-200, 747-300, and 747-400.

In their first Boeing 747, a 200 variant, 16 first-class seats, 40 business-class seats, and 338 economy-class seats were arranged  When the plane was handed over to Air India in March 1971, it had the registration VT-EBD. Air India once operated a total of 14 B747s.

Air India B747 to be sold off by Skytech
Air India has flown 31 Boeing 747s in total since it started using the type back in 1971

After more than a year of anticipation, Air India has finally started selling its four Boeing 747-400s. The aircraft, which have only been flying for the flag carrier and are still relatively young (between 26 and 30 years old), have a chance of being picked for conversion to a freighter by interested parties.

“We are honoured to have been selected by India’s flag carrier, Air India, for this important assignment and are delighted to welcome them as a remarketing client alongside similarly leading airlines such as Singapore Airlines Group, Kuwait Airways, Air Greenland and Europe’s TUI Group.”

–Julian Balaam, Skytech’s Managing Director

Also read: DGCA deregisters Air India’s 4 Boeing 747 jumbo jets

Selling these jets, which have been idle for more than 2.5 years, won’t be a simple feat.

Although there was a chance they would return following a few domestic rotations in 2021, the Tata takeover caused them to go back into storage. We now know that they are once again up for grabs.

Air India’s Boeing 747s were extensively destroyed and shipped to junkyards. The majority of the plane is left to disintegrate in the dry environment, with the exception of expensive elements like the engines and avionics, which are typically recovered. 

Boeing 747
Except for pricey components like the engines and avionics, which are frequently recovered, the remainder of the B747 is permitted to decompose in the dry climate

The remaining 747s can take other routes, though. The model is still very common among cargo carriers, who might modify the aircraft to increase cargo capacity and fly them for many more years. Some airlines may conclude that converting an old passenger jet into a freighter is preferable to standing in line for scarce new aircraft given the huge demand for freighters at the moment.

With these outdated double-decker planes, Air India will be expecting to generate some cash.

There is little need to continue using the outdated model when the Indian government is no longer a customer as a result of the arrival of two new 777s that function as Air India One.

With the introduction of two new 777s that serve as Air India One, there is no need to continue utilising the outdated aircraft since the Indian government is no longer a customer

Even though those decisions were taken at the height of the pandemic’s impact on the business, British Airways was unable to find purchasers for its 31 decommissioned 747-400s. 

Even after the sell-off of the Queen of the Skies B747, Air India’s fleet reduction won’t happen anytime soon.

The recently privatised flag carrier has previously signed contracts for 25 A320 family aircraft and 5 new 777-200LR aircraft to increase short-term capacity. In addition, the airline is in discussions with Airbus and Boeing for a “historic order” that is anticipated to be its largest and first significant one in more than 10 years!