Government officials recently released a statement that two Boeing 777-300 ERs, bought recently by Air India, will be customized for the prime minister, president, and vice-president. The aircrafts will be retrofitted to have VIP enclosures, a press conference room and a patient transport unit for medical emergencies. They will also be well equipped with Wi-Fi and have anti-missile protection. There will even be an operation theatre for emergency surgery and food enough for 2000 people.
The main reason for this is the frequent travel of the Prime Minister and security reasons which were not being met by the current 747, a 20-year-old aircraft.
The aircrafts are exclusively for the VVIPs (The President, Vice-President and Prime Minister). Therefore, post the new aircrafts being ready, there will be no need Air India to ground aircraft from its fleet for special flights.
As reported by Times of India, the aircrafts will be brought in the condition of anonymity. These planes will be very different from the older Boeing 747, which was borrowed from Air India as and when a VVIP visited overseas. The new aircrafts can fly non-stop to the US, thereby avoiding the need to halt for refueling.
Earlier, Rs 4,469 crore was set aside, during the budget announcement for the next fiscal, to buy the aircraft. This decision has been collectively taken by Ministries of Defence and Aviation that the PM needs his own Air Force One-style jumbo jet, which cannot be used commercially.