We recently came back from a 21 day trip to India. We flew AI 744s on both onward and return journeys. The trip (including the air travel) was very memorable and enjoyable. In flight service on both flights was of top quality. Cabin crew was very friendly and helpful. Check-in procedures were smooth and without hassle. The aircraft interior of "Mamallapuram", an ex-Singapore AI 747 (VT-AIE) however, left a lot to be desired. The seats were torn. The IFE controls were broken and did not work. The projecter did not work and hence we could not even see the flight path/progress, forget about seeing any movie. Light switches were cross wired. The Airconditioning did not work - the cabin was freezing. The walls were grimy.
I asked the Cabin crew members about this and was told that ex-Singpore Airlines 747 interiors were the worst within the fleet. The crew members told me that they too were felt frustrated when working on these planes as the galley appliances frequently did not work making it harder to do their job.
Our return journey was on "Sanchi", an ex-Korean Airways 744, which has a much better interior. Seats were much more comfortable and clean. IFE system/controls worked. Somehow the aircraft seemed roomier with more leg space !
My question to the learner ANET members is : How can a leasing company lease a plane with substandard interior features ? These may not be critical to safety of the passengers but cannot AI expect the leasing company to provide an aircraft with a decent interior ? Was AI able to lease these 744s for a very attractive price in-exchange for planes with decrepit interiors ? I am sure that all the flight systems and other engineering related to safety are in top working order because there are international regulations governing these. Also I trust AI to keep their planes in top flying order.