MUMBAI- Tata-owned Indian FSC, Air India (AI) is all set to take the delivery of the Boeing 737 MAX in August and first of its kind for the country, the Airbus A350 aircraft, in October or November, said the CEO.
According to AI CEO, Campbell Wilson, the airline is scheduled to receive its first delivery from its substantial order of 470 aircraft later this year.
The initial aircraft to be delivered will be a 737 MAX, expected in July or August 2023. Followed by the first A350 in October or November 2023. This marks a significant milestone for Air India’s fleet expansion plans.
Air India Fleet Expansion Plan
According to Campbell Wilson, the Chief Executive of Air India, most of the 470 new aircraft ordered by the airline will commence deliveries starting in 2025. However, this year, there are already plans for the arrival of 25 A320/321neo aircraft.
These initial aircraft will be utilized to facilitate quick expansion, enhance the onboard experience. Further serve as a temporary measure until the deliveries of the remaining new aircraft.
Wilson further explained that by the latter half of 2024, a significant majority of Air India’s domestic full-service fleet will consist of essentially brand-new aircraft.
Air India A350 Delivery
Air India (AI) will now receive the A350 aircraft orders that were initially placed by the Russian airline company, Aeroflot (SU).
The imposition of sanctions against Russia due to its ongoing “special military operation” in Ukraine. Subsequently, it has resulted in European aircraft manufacturers ceasing the supply of planes to Russia.
Air India, under the ownership of Tata, has been actively pursuing expansion plans, and the inclusion of the A350 aircraft is a part of that strategy.
An official from Air India confirmed that they are in contact with Airbus to ensure the timely arrival of the aircraft.
When asked about the origin of these planes, the official stated that while further details are yet to be provided. It is confirmed that the aircraft originally destined for Aeroflot will be allocated to Air India for delivery.
Although AI has not made an official announcement regarding the specific deployment of aircraft and routes. It is expected that the first Airbus A350 aircraft will initially be deployed in the domestic sector as part of the ‘Conversion Training Programme‘.
According to an official who spoke to ANI, following the statement made by Campbell Wilson regarding the imminent delivery of the A350 aircraft, the operations department of Air India has instructed the wide-body pilots to begin their preparations for the conversion training on the A350 aircraft.
Boeing 737 MAX Delivery
According to ch-aviation, the AI is most likely to take the delivery of first Boeing 737 MAX in July or August of this year.
Earlier this quarter, the Air India started hiring pilots and operational crew for Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Further, the Air India will utilize 737 MAXs for its subsidiary AIX Connect (IX), formed by merger of Air India Express (IX) and Air Asia India (I5).
Boeing Order Details
Air India has also made a purchase agreement for 190 Boeing MAX aircraft. Along with 20 Dreamliners (787-9) and 10 777-9 planes from Boeing.
In addition to the confirmed order, Air India has the option to acquire 70 more Boeing aircraft. Consisting of 50 MAX planes and 20 Dreamliners. If this option is exercised, the total number of Boeing planes in the order would increase to 290.
Furthermore, GE Aerospace has received an order for 40 GEnx-1B and 20 GE9X engines. Additionally, a multiyear engine services agreement has been established for 20 Boeing 787 and 10 Boeing 777X aircraft.
Other Aircraft Updates
TATA-owned Air India (AI) has secured a lease of six ex-Etihad (EY) Boeing 777-300ER. It is in the United States and will be ready for delivery in the coming days.
Four of the six ex-Etihad Boeing 777 are currently at Victorville Airport, USA. The MSN number of these planes are MSN 39687; MSN 39700; MSN 39689; and MSN 39690.
Furthermore, the Indian FSC is in the stage of receiving its first B777-300ER, which bears MSN 39686.
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