Air India Boeing 777-200LR VT-ALH. Previously stripped and cannibalised, now restored. Front view. Engines have been removed. Click for a larger view.
Air India Boeing 777-200LR VT-ALH. Front view. Engines have been removed for safe-keeping.

Exclusive photos: Air India repairs its Boeing 777-200LR VT-ALH previously stripped for parts

Exactly three months and one day ago, we reported exclusive images of Air India’s newest Boeing 777-200LR VT-ALH Maharashtra lying in a pathetic and dilapidated condition at Mumbai airport. Today we are happy to report exclusive images showing Air India has restored the aircraft to a much better condition. She is looking nice and clean.

Since the aircraft has not flown since May 29, 2012, the engines were removed for proper storage given the hot, humid and salty atmosphere at Mumbai. One engine was used to replace the engine which caught fire on Air India Boeing 777-300ER VT-ALR Meghalaya as it performed flight AI144 from Newark to Mumbai on July 13, 2014. Apparently the GE90-110B used on 777-200LRs is identical hardware to the GE90-115B used on 777-300ERs, the variation in engine performance being controlled by software. The other engine is in storage.

Air India Boeing 777-200LR VT-ALH. Wing and landing gear close-up. Click for a larger view.
Air India Boeing 777-200LR VT-ALH. Wing and landing gear close-up. Click for a larger view.

VT-ALH photo gallery

[bsu_custom_gallery source=”media: 9549,9548,9547″ link=”image” target=”blank” width=”200″ height=”180″]

Compare to the shoddy condition three months ago

[bsu_custom_gallery source=”media: 7978,7977,7979″ link=”image” target=”blank” width=”200″ height=”180″] Informed sources, who do not wish to be named, indicate VT-ALH was stripped for parts to repair and “bring to specification” the first five 777-200LRs that were sold to Abu Dhabi based Etihad Airways PJSC for a measly $336.5 million (as reported by G.M. Siddeshwara the junior civil aviation minister to the Indian parliament). The Boeing 777-200LR has a list price of $305 million at present, though discounts of 30% to 40% are common.

READ ONLINE: Analysis: Air India sells Boeing 777-200LRs to Etihad
READ ONLINE: Photos: Air India starts delivering sold Boeing 777-200LRs to Etihad Airways

Etihad has put those LRs on their Abu Dhabi Los Angeles non-stop service. The gulf carrier has plans to expand its services to the US west coast and as per a report in The Mint, has bid for the last three LRs Air India put up for sale. However, the Etihad wants to lease these three aircraft rather than buy them.

READ ONLINE: Air India puts last three Boeing 777-200LRs up for sale

Our source has also confirmed their is no damage to the spar of VT-ALH as speculated in the media and Twitterverse.

Air India has been using the other two 777-200LRs VT-ALF and VT-ALG to perform rescue missions to Iraq, Libya and other countries, bringing back stranded Indian citizens.

As lovers of airplanes, we are happy to see VT-ALH being restored and hope to see her flying soon.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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  1. Finally some good news. It would be nice to hear about VT-ALT and VT-ESN as well. AI might use more own aircraft (two jumbos and two A330s) on Hajj schedule this year.

  2. Couple of things not clear. I thought ALR used ALT engine at EWR. ALT missing an engine from recently posted picture and why would AI ship an engine from BOM to EWR. Swapping out at EWR(between ALT and ALR) and let GE fix the broken one makes more sense. If I recall correctly ALR didn’t stay at EWR for long. Also there is a open radome repair tender, that means somebody is missing a radome.