Tails of Glory

Air India Express showcases India’s rich diversity to the world through the unique livery

Air India Express has an all-Boeing fleet made up entirely of the B737- 800 Next Generation (NG) aircraft. The liveries of Air India Express aircraft are unique with each tail portraying the beauty and diversity of India’s rich culture and heritage. These tail arts make our fleet the cultural ambassadors of India.

The tails feature large-scale vivid graphics that then join the white and red colour on the fuselage. Close to 50 unique designs that speak of India’s diversity in culture, art, heritage, and wildlife have been brought to life by the team.   

Here are a few glimpses of the exceptional art:

VT-GHC aircraft features two very popular musical instruments – the Tabla and the Sitar.

The Tabla is a pair of hand drums. This membranophone percussion instrument is often used in Hindustani classical music and in the traditional music of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. The sitar is a plucked stringed instrument used mainly in Hindustani music and Indian classical music. The sitar became popularly known in the wider world through the works of Pandit Ravi Shankar.

VT-AXN displays the Ujjayanta Palace in Tripura and the Hawa Mahal in Rajasthan.

Ujjayanta Palace is a museum and former royal palace situated in Agartala. It is a two-storeyed mansion, having a mixed type of architecture with three high domes. The palace is set with huge Mughal style gardens. The magnificent tile floor, curved wooden ceiling and magnificently-crafted doors adds to the beauty of the palace. The Hawa Mahal in Jaipur was built for the women in the royal family to watch everyday life on the street below without coming out of the palace. Its unique five-storey exterior is akin to the honeycomb of a beehive with 953 small windows uniquely carved in the Rajasthani pattern and designs.

VT-AYD depicts two dance forms of India-Manipuri on one side and Naga dance on the other.

Manipuri dance, also known as Jagoi, is one of the major Indian classical dance forms of India from the Northeastern state of Manipur. This dance form is devotional in mood and essentially presented as a group dance with gorgeous, colourful costumes and gentle movements with greater emphasis on hand and upper body gestures. The Naga dance generally includes erect postures with unbent knees. Their costumes are very colourful and complement the dance performance. Most of the dances start with a slow pace and steadily the tempo gains momentum.

VT-AXU aircraft, which highlights two folk dance forms-Garba and Bihu.

Garba is a form of dance from the western state of Gujarat. The dance involves movement in circular patterns with rhythmic clapping. Traditionally, the dance is performed by women around a clay lantern with a light inside, called a Garbha Deep. Bihu is a popular folk dance of Assam. This joyous dance is performed by both young men and women, and is characterised by brisk dance steps and rapid hand movement. Dancers wear traditionally colourful Assamese clothing.

VT-AXP carries timeless paintings by legendary artist Raja Ravi Varma – Lady with Swarbat & Hamsa Damayanti

Damayanthi talking to the royal swan about Nalan and a lady playing musical instrument Swarbat are two relatively modern paintings of Ravi Varma. Raja Ravi Varma was a celebrated Indian painter and artist. Born to the royal family in Kilimanoor, Kerala, he is considered among the greatest painters in the history of Indian art. Ravi Varman paintings are considered to be a fusion of Indian traditions and European techniques. Many of his oil paintings are classic and his unique Indian style has later influenced artists and designers worldwide.

VT-AYA aircraft features Ajanta caves on one side and Ellora on the other.

Maharashtra is known for its abundance of Buddhist caves spread across various districts. Built in the second century BCE, the set of caves at Ajanta are the finest examples of some of the earliest Buddhist architecture, cave paintings and sculptures. Created between the 6th and 10th century, the caves in Ellora are actually Buddhist, Hindu and Jain religious monuments carved in the rock. The Buddhist, Hindu and Jain caves carved in proximity at Ellora are proof of the religious harmony prevalent during this period of Indian history. This cave illustrates the spirit of tolerance that was characteristic of ancient India.

VT-AXQ features two ancient architectural marvels of India -the Jantar Mantar located in the heart of the Delhi city and the Qutub Minar in South Delhi.

The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is an astronomical observation site built in the early 18th century. Designed for the observation of astronomical positions with the naked eye, Jantar Mantar embodies several architectural and instrumental innovations. This is the most significant, most comprehensive, and the best preserved of India’s historic observatories. Qutub Minar is a World Heritage Site and has survived the ravages of time impressively. It is a great masterpiece of Mughal architecture. Each of the 5 storeys and tower of Qutub Minar has unique designs.

VT-AYB features the rare white tiger on one side and spotted deer on the other.

The white tiger has an undeniable sense of mystery and beauty. They have blue eyes, rose-pink noses and light brown stripes, which make them stand out from their rust-coloured peers. Chital deer or spotted deer, is the native animal of the Indian subcontinent. It has a bright reddish-brown coat with scattered white spots.

VT-AXW displays the religious diversity of India represented by the Charminar in Hyderabad and the Buddhist shrine the ‘Great Stupa’ at Sanchi.

Charminar or “Mosque of the four Minarets” is a mosque and monument in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, which is constructed in the distinct Islamic architectural style. It is a magnificent historical monument built by Sultan Mohammad Quli Qutub in 1591. Charminar houses four arches, each of which opens onto a different street. The Stupa at Sanchi in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, originally commissioned by emperor Ashoka in the third century, is one the most wonderful structures of ancient India.  The Sanchi Stupa is a fine example of Buddhist architecture and sculpture which was prevalent from the 3rd century B.C. to the 12th century A.D.

VT-AXZ showcases the geographical diversity of India. One side portrays the searing deserts of Rajasthan and the other side features the snow-capped Himalayan peaks and lush valleys of Kashmir.

VT-AXR portrays Kerala’s own martial art form & its unique water sport: Kalaripayattu and Snake Boat Race.

Kalaripayattu is one of the oldest living traditions of martial training and self-defence method in the world. Kalaripayattu techniques are a combination of steps (Chuvatu) and postures (Vadivu). Chuvatu literally means ‘steps’, the basic steps of the martial arts. Chundan Vallam or Snake boats are anywhere from 100 to 138 feet in length with the rear portion towering to a height of about 20 feet and a long tapering front portion. Chundan Vallam, known as snake boats, are one of the icons of Kerala culture used in the Vallamkali boat race. Sitting two to a row along the length of the boat, the paddlers row the boat in rhythm of the Vanchipattu (boatman’s song).

VT-AXJ features two magnificent forts in India. On the left side of the livery is the Gwalior fort and on the right is the famous Red Fort in New Delhi.

Gwalior is best known for its imposing hilltop fort, which was famously described as ‘the pearl amongst fortresses in India’. Standing on a steep mass of sandstone, Gwalior Fort consists of a defensive structure and two main palaces, Gurjari Mahal and Man Mandir, built by Man Singh Tomar. The Red Fort Complex is located in the centre of Delhi and houses a number of museums. The Red Fort is named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone. It was the ceremonial and political centre of the Mughal government. The Prime Minister of India hoists the national flag on the ramparts of the Lahori Gate of the fort complex every year on August 15th, India’s Independence Day.

VT-AXM showcases two majestic palaces of India: Mysore Palace & Mehrangarh Fort

Mysore Palace is one of the most magnificent buildings in India. The palace has spacious halls, paintings and architectural beauty. The palace is an excellent combination of Indo-Saracenic architecture. The palace looks magnificent when it is illuminated on Sundays and festive occasions. Mehrangarh Fort located in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, is one of the largest forts in India. The magnificent craftsmanship of the Jodhpuri craftsmen is exhibited in the fascinating sandstone palaces within the Mehrangarh Fort. The Mehrangarh Fort houses grand palaces like the Moti Mahal or the Pearl Palace, the Phool Mahal, the Rang Mahal and the Chandan Mahal. The fort is situated 125 m above the city and is enclosed by imposing thick walls. A winding road leads to and from the city below.

VT-GHI features Punjab’s famous spiritual hub Golden temple & the state’s folk dance form Bhangra

VT-GHA represents India’s wide array of ecosystems and its diverse fauna – Camel and Elephant

The camels from the deserts of Rajasthan and the elephants from the lush green forests of South India represent the diverse landscapes and ecosystem of our country.

VT-GHD depicts traditional Indian lamps -Diya & Samai

VT- GHB captures the festive spirit of India with paintings of Kite & Rangoli

The term rangoli is derived from the words rang (colour) and aravalli (‘coloured creepers’ or ‘row of colours’). The purpose of rangoli is decoration, and it is thought to bring good luck. Kite flying is one of the most popular sports and festivals in India, and the Indian festival of Makar Sankranti is devoted to kite flying across the country with millions of people participating. The kite knows no boundaries. It crosses the borders between nations and spreads the message of peace and harmony.

VT – GHE flaunts two major classical dance forms of India – Bharatanatyam & Kathakali

Bharatanatyam is a classical dance form of South India, said to have originated in Thanjavoor of Tamil Nadu. It started as a temple dance tradition. Bharatanatyam is the dance that encompasses music, rhythm and expressional dance or Abhinaya and strictly adheres to the Natyashastra (the scripture of classical Indian dance). This dance style is characterised by a linear form of the body without any pronounced movement of the upper body and linear spatial patterns, which make the dance form extremely dynamic and powerful.

Kathakali is considered as one of the oldest and most magnificent theatres of imagination and creativity. Kathakali dance presents themes derived from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and other Hindu epics, mythologies and legends. The technique of Kathakali includes a highly-developed language of gesture, through which the artist can convey whole sentences and stories.

Kathakali is known for its heavy, elaborate makeup and costumes. In fact, the colourful and fascinating costumes of Kathakali have become the most recognized icon of Kerala. 

VT- GHK reminds us of ancient Kerala’s strong foreign trade relations – Chinese fishing nets & Spices

VT-GHF features two architectural marvels of India – Taj Mahal & Konark Wheel

VT-AXI features two paintings that dwell deep into the art & culture of ancient India: Solah Shringar & Ragini Todi

Miniatures paintings are beautiful handmade paintings, which are quite colourful but small in size. The highlight of these paintings is the intricate and delicate brushwork, which lends them a unique identity. ‘Solah Shringar’ encompasses 16 basic steps of beautification of a woman from head to toe. Ragamala Paintings are a series of illustrative paintings from mediaeval India based on Ragamala, depicting various Indian musical modes called Ragas. In these paintings, each raga is personified by a colour, mood, a verse describing a story of a hero and heroine, it also elucidates the season and the time of day and night in which a particular raga is to be sung.

VT-AXT reminds us of the rich avian fauna of India by portraying Painted Stork & Peacock.

The painted stork is a large bird, which has a heavy yellow beak with a down-curved tip. They are found across large parts of South and SouthEast Asia, particularly India and Sri Lanka.  They prefer freshwater wetlands and nest colonially in trees, often along with other water birds. Peacocks are large, colourful birds known for their iridescent tails. The peacock with its shimmering blue and green plumage is the national bird of India. 

VT-AYC aircraft features articles of clothing from two extremes of India-the Patola from Western Gujrat and the shawl from north-eastern Nagaland. Patola is a double ikat woven sari, usually made from silk, made in Patan, Gujarat. Naga shawls are traditional shawls with a distinctive pattern, primarily in red and black wool made by various Naga tribes from Nagaland.

VT-AXX aircraft highlights the geographical diversity of India. It features the geographical diversity of India from the towering snow-capped Himalayas in the extreme north to the sun-kissed beaches all along the peninsula of India.

VT-AXV depicts the Sun Temple of Konark on one side and the Victoria Memorial on the other.

Konark Sun Temple, commonly known as Konark is situated in the eastern state of Odisha and is dedicated to the Sun God. Built in the middle of the 13th century by the great ruler Narasimha Deva I, this temple was designed in the form of a gorgeously decorated chariot mounted on 24 wheels drawn by 7 mighty horses and has elaborately carved stone wheels, pillars and walls. Konark is an architectural marvel of Eastern India and a symbol of India’s heritage. The Victoria Memorial is a large marble building in Kolkata in the state of West Bengal, which was built between 1906 and 1921. It is dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria. The Victoria Memorial hall was built with white Makrana marbles. The Victoria Memorial blends the best of British and Mughal architecture.

Read Previous

One of the Best Workplaces for Women! Now & Always!

Read Next

Things that can’t board the flight with you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.