Tata Group-owned Air India has mandated UK-based remarketing firm Skytech-AIC for the sale of its four Boeing 747-400 jumbo planes.
These aircraft were deregistered by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation earlier this year.
In a statement on November 21, Skytech-AIC said it has been appointed by Air India to market four Boeing 747-400s for outright sale.
The aircraft, which are Pratt & Whitney 4056-powered and were built between 1993 and 1996, are offered for immediate delivery, it added.
“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,” Skytech-AIC Managing Director Julian Balaam said in the statement posted on the company’s website.
In a statement on Tuesday, an Air India spokesperson said the 747s were a much-loved flagship of its fleet and “we are sad to let them go”.
The airline is actively evaluating and reviewing the existing fleet to make it future-ready.
“We look forward to bringing in the latest generation, more fuel efficient and more environmentally friendly aircraft to power Air India’s future aspirations and growth plans. We are sure that many passengers join Air Indians in bidding a fond emotional farewell to the Queen of the skies,” the spokesperson said.
Apart from ferrying India’s VVIPs — president, vice president and prime minister — the four jumbo planes were deployed on high-density domestic and international routes.
In 2020, Air India, which was then owned by the government, received two customised Boeing 777 planes equipped with advanced defence systems for ferrying VVIPs. Subsequently, two jumbo jets were pulled out of operations and prior to that, two such aircraft were grounded.
One of the early operators of these planes, Air India had started inducting jumbo aircraft in its fleet from 1971.
Over the decades, the airline has been phasing out such planes and replacing them with Boeing 777s and Boeing 787s, which are considered more fuel-efficien