After announcing ambitions to increase the fleet size of the significant Indian airline by more than 25%, Air India’s new owner Tata Group appears prepared to invest millions. The carrier was taken over by Tata in January 2022.
For 25 Airbus narrow-body and five Boeing wide-body aircraft, which are scheduled to go into service in late 2022, the airline has signed leases and letters of intent (LoI).
According to Air India’s chief executive Campbell Wilson, the Delhi-based carrier chose 21 Airbus A320neos, four A321neos, and five Boeing 777-200LRs to meet the airline’s “urgent demand” for greater capacity.
“These new aircraft, together with existing aircraft being returned to service, mark a strong step forward. Air India has exciting expansion and renewal plans, of which these new aircraft are just the beginning,” Wilson said.
Wilson explained that the addition of new aircraft will represent the first significant fleet enlargement since the Indian government sold shares of Air India to Tata Group. In order to accommodate the rise in passenger demand for air travel during the pandemic, 16 long-grounded airline jets will be gradually taken from storage in addition to the delivery of new aircraft.
The airline anticipates that by the beginning of 2023, all 16 aircraft will be back in use.
The first five Boeing 777-200LRs [long range, editor, -] are anticipated to join the fleet between December 2022 and March 2023, according to the preliminary delivery timetable. These planes would be utilized to fly routes from major Indian cities to various American locations.
The four A321s are anticipated to arrive in the first quarter of 2023, according to Air India.
The carrier stated that the 21 A320s should be delivered in the second part of 2023.
The aircraft will operate on select short-haul international routes as well as domestic carrier flights.
Currently, Air India has a mixed fleet of 70 aircraft, including 43 wide-body and 70 narrow-body models.