Air India on Monday (5 December) said it will lease 12 more aircraft including A320neos and Boeing 777s, which are expected to be inducted in its existing fleet in the first half of 2023. The new planes will be deployed on the airline’s short, medium and long-haul international routes, Air India said in a statement. Air India said it has leased 42 aircraft since its privatisation in January this year.
Of the 12 new leased planes, six are wide-body Boeing 777-300ER, while the remaining six are narrow-body Airbus A320 neo, as per the statement. The airline had in September this year announced that it will be adding 30 leased aircraft – 21 A320s, four A321s and five B777-200LRs in its fleet over a 15-month period, amid its plan to have 30 percent share in both domestic and international markets.
The A320 neo will be operated on the airline’s domestic as well as short-to-medium haul international routes, Air India said. The airline said the B777-300 ER will have four-class configuration to connect metro cities with more international destinations. In addition to leasing of aircraft, Air India has also brought back into operation 19 aircraft, which were grounded for a long time while nine more such planes are expected to join the fleet, it stated.
As part of the expansion, Air India is enhancing the frequency of flights between key cities on the domestic routes, besides announcing expansion of international flight services. “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,” said Campbell Wilson, Managing Director and CEO at Air India. 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, he added.