Crew members of Air India were suspended due to photos leak of the new presidential Air India One, the aircraft which is used to fly top leaders of the Indian government.

Who’s in charge of India’s presidential fleet? 

India’s Presidents, Vice Presidents and Prime Ministers have been using national Indian carrier’s Air India Boeing 747 planes for their travel for nearly 25 years. 

However, after the two presidential Boeing 777 aircraft were received in October 2020, Indian Air Force took over the operations of Air India One, according to the Financial Express.

Despite the change, Air India Engineering Services Limited (AIESL), which is a subsidiary of Air India, is taking part in maintaining wide-body B777 planes.   

Photos leak

Following the news on photos leak, according to the Times of India, after the photographs of highly secured aircraft have been revealed on social media, India’s Prime Minister Cabinet initiated investigation of the leakage. The investigation resulted in the indefinite suspension of a senior cabin crew member who allegedly took the pictures. A cabin supervisor was reportedly also fired for not preventing the security breach.  

Additionally, the same crew member shared photographs of the VIP aircraft with his relatives revealing cabin layout, seats and more. According to the investigation, the relative turns out to be a retired Air India employee. Sources from the investigation added that the Indian airline has suspended this retired employee’s free passage and medical benefits.

Air India One

The two specially-modified Boeing 777s are the first dedicated aircraft to be used to fly the highest officials in India. The new 777-300ERs have been heavily modified to add defense systems and a new cabin for the President, Vice President and the Prime Minister of India. Therefore, Air India One planes have similar security measures as the Air Force One planes used by the President of the United States.