According to airline sources with direct knowledge of the case, Tata Group-owned international low-cost carrier Air India Express may grow its fleet of 24 Boeing 737 aircraft by four by year's end in order to handle the rising demand for international travel.
According to them, aviation is resuming after a number of pandemic-related restrictions were lifted, demand has increased, and dry leasing is a possible way to increase capacity in the near future.
There are 24 Boeing 737 aircraft in the fleet of Air India Express at the moment. In the Kozhikode plane crash in August 2020, it lost one aircraft.
"Demand for international travel has bounced back after the removal of most of the pandemic-related restrictions on travel. Loads (passenger on aircraft) are good and all the routes are doing well. Of course, there are some seasonal variations, which have been factored in," a source informed PTI.
According to the source, "in the short term, the airline might take four aircraft on dry lease to increase capacity for the interim period," noting that the new aircraft will be used to increase frequency on specific routes.
“You can't open new routes with four additional aircraft. These planes will only be used for increasing frequency and consolidation of the existing routes," a source said.
With over 100 daily flights, Air India Express currently serves 13 airports outside of India as well as 11 in India.