As per Air India chief, Ashwani Lohani, the Air India plans to bring all its 17 grounded aircraft back on the runway before October-end. It is notable that Air India’s 17 aircraft have been grounded for a “prolonged” period ranging from four months to a year because of lack of funds for repair and maintenance. As per a PTI report, Ashwani Lohani, Air India Chairman and Managing Director said that the airline will work to bring back the 17 grounded aircraft back into operation by October end.
Eight Air India Aircrafts to Become Operational by August End
As per the plan shared by the Air India CMD, eight of the seventeen grounded aircraft will return to operation by the end of August only. These eight aircraft include 4 Airbus A320s, 1 Boeing 747, 1 Boeing 777 and two Boeing 787s. The remaining of the 9 aircrafts, all of which are Airbus A320s will return to the runway by the end of October if the national carrier manages to get funding for maintenance in proper time. Lohani told PTI that Air India is looking for maximisation of revenue and therefore it plans to put the retrieved aircraft into operation as soon as possible. As per the CMD, Air India will use these aircraft for facilitating new routes.
Air India to Use Retrieved Aircraft for New Routes
Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri has announced numerous new routes over the past few weeks which the national carrier would fly on. Last month, the civil aviation minister had announced new routes like Mumbai-Nairobi route and Delhi-Chennai-Bali route which would be operational from September 27 and October 27, respectively.
It is also worth noting that at the start of the month, Puri has already told Rajya Sabha that the government will proceed with the disinvestment plan of Air India and before the privatisation of the company, the government also aims to make the company more operationally viable. In the year 2018-19, Air India’s losses were pegged at around Rs 7,600 crore, whereas the debt of the company stood at Rs 58,300 crore.