On December 5, Air India said that will is willing to lease 12 more aircraft comprising both Boeing B777 and Airbus A320 Neo, which are expected to be inducted in its existing fleet in the first half of 2023. The fresh aircraft shall be deployed on the company’s short, medium and long-haul international routes.
Since its privatisation in January this year, Air India said it has leased 42 aircraft. As per the statement, of the 12 new leased planes, six are narrow-body Airbus A320 neo while the remaining six are wide-body Boeing B777-300ER
In September this year, the airline had announced that it will be adding 30 leased aircraft – 4 A321, 5 B777-200LR and 21 A320 in its fleet over 15 months, amid its plan to have around 30% share in both international and domestic markets.
The A320 neo shall operate on the airline’s domestic as well as short-to-medium haul international routes. As per the airlines, the B777-300 ER shall be equipped with four-class configuration — economy, premium economy, first and business — for connecting metro cities with a higher number of international destinations.
That said, an addition of 36 aircraft — 25 A320 family and 11 B777s — by early next year with vastly improved cabin interiors, as opposed to the poor passenger experience on Air India’s existing fleet that has suffered due to lack of investment in maintenance or upkeep during its past penurious few years as a government-owned airline.
“Growing our network is an essential part of Air India’s Vihaan.AI transformational journey and we remain committed to increasing connectivity and frequency of flights both domestically and internationally. The additional aircraft leases will support the airline’s near-term growth even as it finalises plans to refresh and significantly grow the company’s long-term fleet.” Campbell Wilson, Managing Director & CEO, Air India