As we know, Air India and its group of airlines are on a transformation journey. From bolstering its Network to Workspace consolidation, Air India is setting up things progressively. In another development, the airline leases 30 New Aircraft to strengthen domestic and international operations over the next 15 months.
New Aircraft to increase Air India's fleet by over 25%
Air India has signed leases and letters of intent for 25 Airbus narrow-body and 5 Boeing wide-body aircraft to augment its existing fleet in the near term. These new aircraft, which will enter service from late 2022, will increase Air India's fleet by over 25%.
First Major Fleet Expansion after TATA Group takeover
These new aircraft mark the first major fleet expansion since Air India’s acquisition by the Tata Group earlier this year. The 10 long-grounded narrow-body and 6 wide-body aircraft that have been returned to service in recent months are not counted against the same.
Details of Leased Aircraft:
Narrow Body Aircraft
Deployment of Boeing Wide-body Aircraft on International Routes
The B777-200LRs will join the fleet between December 2022 and March 2023 and will be deployed on routes from Indian metro cities to the United States of America.
Mumbai will see the addition of flights to San Francisco as well as to both of the New York area’s international airports, Newark Liberty and John F Kennedy, while Bangalore will receive a 3x weekly service to San Francisco.
Air India offering Premium Economy:
This will result in Air India offering Premium Economy haul flights for the first time.
Deployment of Airbus Narrow-body Aircraft on Domestic Sectors and Short-haul International Destinations
The 4 A321neo aircraft are expected to join the Air India fleet in the first quarter of the calendar year 2023, while the 21 A320neo will be inducted in the second half of 2023. These aircraft will be deployed on domestic sectors as well as to short-haul international destinations.
Commenting on the fleet expansion, Mr. Campbell Wilson, CEO & Managing Director, Air India, said, “After a long time without significant growth, Air India is delighted to resume expanding its fleet and global footprint. These new aircraft, together with existing aircraft being returned to service, address an immediate need for more capacity and connectivity, and mark a strong step forward. Air India has exciting expansion and renewal plans, of which these new aircraft are just the beginning.”
Air India Bolsters Direct Connectivity to Doha From Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai
Considering the demand expected around the football extravaganza in Qatar in November and December, Air India announced the introduction of 20 new flights per week to Qatar from Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai. From 30th October 2022, Air India will connect Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai with Qatar's capital Doha during this period.
Air India Current Fleet:
Air India’s narrow-body fleet currently stands at 70 aircraft, of which 54 are in service; the remaining 16 aircraft will progressively return to service by early 2023. The wide-body fleet currently stands at 43 aircraft, of which 33 are operational, and the rest will return to service by early 2023.