Air India One,a Boeing 747 aircraft, 26-year-old jumbo jet, faced a technical glitch at the Zurich airport on Sunday.
The President Ram Nath Kovind drove to the airport but was asked to return to his hotel. His flight from Switzerland to Slovenia was delayed for about three hours, part of his three-nation tour to Europe. Kovind is on a tour to Iceland, Switzerland and Slovenia that started on September 9. During this time, an Air India Boeing 777 that was to operate on London-Mumbai sector as flight 130 was kept on standby at Heathrow as an alternate aircraft to be flown to Zurich for the President's journey if need be. Keeping an Air India aircraft at a foreign base nearest from AI One has to operate as standby is a regular practice. Air India has ordered a “full inquiry” in the incident.
Indian President Ram Nath Kovind
Air India planes are used for ferrying VVIPs, including the President and the Prime Minister. By the end of this year or early next year, India will get dedicated state-of-the-art long haul aircraft retrofitted in the US with security gizmos, including missile warning and counter-measures dispensing systems, for the president, VP and PM flights.