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Welcome aboard! Patriots share a peek inside AirKraft

Cranston photographer David Rainone shot this photo of the New England Patriots' plane at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017. (David Rainone) 

The New England Patriots are the first NFL team to own their own aircraft, and they're giving fans a peek inside one of the planes.

The Patriots posted video to social media sites showing what it looks like inside the wide-body Boeing 767.

The standard seats found in a commercial plane have been replaced with larger seats and plenty of legroom.

"We got the widest and largest seats that you can put on this plane," said Jim Nolan, chief operating officer of Gillette Stadium, with Patriots President Jonathan Kraft noting that “the plane is still set up for 200 people because we fly with a lot of people, so it’s not set up like a flying living room. It looks like a commercial airliner, everything is just sort of supersized for more room.”

The Patriots marked the inaugural team flight Wednesday during a ceremony at T.F. Green Airport, which the team has selected as its official airport.

Gov. Gina Raimondo was on hand Wednesday to welcome the new plane to the runway.

“No one loves the Patriots more than Rhode Islanders.” Raimondo said.

Iftikhar Ahmad, who is the president & CEO of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, shared similar sentiments.

“It’s important for us to show visually that Rhode Islanders are big fans of the Patriots and what this will do is will get them to see that we are the official airport of the Patriots.”

ESPN reported that team travel is becoming increasingly more expensive. Ten roundtrip flights a season can cost up to $4 million.

Major carriers also have been retiring larger planes that were used to transport teams.

"By getting our own plane, we can handle all the people and all the equipment on every trip," Nolan said.

Airport officials said the plane will be parked on the tarmac at T.F. Green for all to see when the team is not traveling.

The Patriots, who are heading to Florida to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night, said the aircraft is operated by a private company and not a commercial airline.


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