Only in India…gigantic billboards are forcing Air India to not sell 51 seats on their B777-300ERs operating the BOM-EWR route. Bloomberg reports that huge billboards are forcing departures from BOM to climb rapidly on takeoff, but the 15-hour flight to EWR would be too heavy to clear the billboard with its full load of passengers and fuel.
As a result, Air India now leaves 51 passengers off the 777-300ER. Flying 15 percent under capacity means losing 100 million rupees ($1.6 million) per month on the route, an Indian aviation minister told legislators on Monday, according to my Bloomberg News colleague, Anurag Kotoky. Airport officials at Chhatrapati Shivaji International have so far removed 13 of the 15 offending billboards in flight paths.
Photograph by Dhiraj Singh
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