Air India To Add 25 Airbus, Five Boeing Leased Jets In Revamp
The planes will be used on domestic routes as well as short-haul international legs, Air India said.
(Bloomberg) -- Air India Ltd. will induct 30 leased aircraft from Airbus SE and Boeing Co. into its fleet starting December as its new owner Tata Sons Pvt. prepares to rebuild the former state-run airline.
The carrier will add 21 A320neo jets in the second half of 2023 and four A321neo aircraft in the first quarter of calendar 2023, according to a statement Monday. The planes will be used on domestic routes as well as short-haul international legs, Air India said.
In addition, five B777-200LR jets will join the fleet between December and March, connecting Indian metro cities to the US. With the longer-range Boeing jets, Air India will increase flights from Mumbai to San Francisco and New York, and operate three weekly services between Bengaluru and San Francisco, it said.
The fact Air India is one of the few carriers still flying over Russian airspace means it will now be able to offer the shortest flights between the two nations -- an advantage highlighted by at least one aviation lawyer.
The fleet expansion signals a resurgence for Air India under new Chief Executive Officer Campbell Wilson after the government handed over the money-losing carrier to Tata following years of taxpayer bailouts. Tata has earmarked 150 billion rupees ($1.9 billion) for investment into Air India and Chairman N. Chandrasekaran has indicated he expects visible progress in one to two years, according to an Economic Times report.
Read more: Air India Prepares One of the Largest Aircraft Deals in History
The addition of leased aircraft will increase Air India’s fleet by over 25%, the company said. The carrier is currently operating 33 widebodies and 54 narrowbodies. Some 16 narrowbodies and 10 widebodies that are grounded will return to service by early 2023, it added.
Separately, Air India is also planning to vacate any government-owned buildings from this month. Air India, Air India Express Ltd. and AirAsia India offices will move to a new campus by March.
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.