The airline will add wide and narrowbody aircraft later this year.
Air India is ready for a major fleet expansion in the coming months that will significantly boost its services to North America and within India.
For far too long, the carrier has suffered from a capacity crunch due to a lack of sufficient active aircraft, losing out to other domestic and international players.
But with the Tatas as its new owners, the carrier is going through a revival that it hasn’t seen in decades. And that includes bolstering its fleet to double down on cash-producing routes.
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By now, we’re familiar with Air India’s intention of fleet expansion for both the long-term and short. Apart from almost finalizing a major aircraft order for its future requirements, the airline has been in the news for wanting to add both domestic and international capacity in the short term. And now, Air India has given a report giving us a clear picture of what the coming year would look like as it leases 30 narrow and widebody aircraft.
- The airline declared on Monday that it will induct 30 new aircraft on lease, of which 5 will be Boeing 777-200LR and the rest 25 Airbus narrowbodies.
The 777s will join the fleet between December 2022 and March 2023 and will be deployed on routes to the US. Of the narrowbody aircraft, 4 A321 aircraft will likely join the carrier’s fleet in the 1st quarter of 2023, while 21 A320s will be inducted in the second half of 2023. These aircraft will be deployed in domestic sectors as well as to short-haul international destinations.
Air India CEO Campbell Wilson commented,
“After a long time without significant development, Air India is delighted to restart expanding its fleet and international footprint. These new aircraft, together with existing aircraft being returned to service, address an immediate requirement for more capacity and connectivity, and mark a decisive step forward. Air India has exciting expansion and renewal plans, of which these new aircraft are just the start.”
The new aircraft will raise the fleet size of Air India by approximately 25%. This does not take into account more than 15 narrow and widebody aircraft that were previously grounded and have now returned to service.
The airline recently strengthened some of its existing routes within the country by adding new flights. Over the next year, it plans to tighten its grip on the domestic sector by adding capacity through the leased narrowbody aircraft and trying to reclaim some of its lost market shares.
Air India’s North American expansion has been in the works for a while but couldn’t take off due to a lack of active widebody aircraft. It has already added more flights to Canada, and the incoming 777-200LRs will also make other routes possible.
The airline declared that 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. At the same time, Bangalore will receive a 3x weekly service to San Francisco.
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