In one of the highest allocations for the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the Union Budget for 2018-19 has earmarked Rs 4,469.50 crore for “purchase of two new aircraft for special extra section flight operations”, out of the ministry’s total allocation of Rs 6,602.86 crore.
The two new Boeing 777-300ER planes, operated by Air India, would be used for VVIP operations. The airline currently has three Boeing 747 jumbo-jets that are used to ferry dignitaries such as the President, Vice President, and Prime Minister.
On the other hand, given the acquisition of brand new aircraft for this purpose, the budgetary allocation to the Ministry of External Affairs towards maintenance cost of Air India aircraft for Very Very Important Person (VVIP) travel has been reduced to Rs 141 crore for 2018-19 from Rs 215 crore in the financial year 2017-18.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines