Air India’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD), Campbell Wilson, revealed the airline’s ambitious plans to bolster its wide-body fleet by 30% before March 2024.
The expansion strategy includes the addition of six brand-new A350 aircraft, five leased Boeing 777-200LR planes, and nine Boeing 777-300ER aircraft during the current fiscal year.
Air India’s Transformation Journey
The CEO, Campbell Wilson, also highlighted the progress of Air India’s transformation journey. Further, the airline’s recent explorations for potential collaborations with technology giants like Apple.
Air India currently operates a fleet of 125 planes comprising 51 wide-body planes and 74 narrow-body planes.
In 2022, the airline leased a total of 42 planes, which include four narrow-body A321neo, five wide-body 777-200LR, six wide-body 777-300ER, and 27 narrow-body A320neo aircraft. These leased planes are expected to be delivered by June 2024.
The airline had earlier placed a monumental order for 470 planes, with 40 wide-body A350 planes and 210 A320neo family planes from Airbus, 10 wide-body Boeing 777X planes, 20 wide-body 787 planes, and 190 narrow-body 737 MAX planes from Boeing.
Air India Gets Type Acceptance for A350
According to Wilson, the first A350 from Airbus is scheduled to be delivered within the next few months.
He expressed delight in receiving the Letter of Type Acceptance for their Rolls-Royce-powered A350s. Further signaling the initiation of activities related to the induction of this state-of-the-art aircraft.
With the inclusion of the six new A350s, five leased 777-200LRs, and nine 777-300ERs by the end of this financial year, the wide-body fleet will see a substantial growth of 30% within a year.
Furthermore, by March 2024, approximately one-third of the total wide-body fleet will boast modern seats and advanced inflight entertainment systems.
Wilson emphasized the airline’s commitment to ensuring a consistently high standard on every aircraft by initiating a comprehensive $400 million interior refit for the remaining fleet.
Collaboration with Apple
Wilson also shared insights into the airline’s collaboration efforts with Apple. He mentioned visiting Apple’s headquarters in Palo Alto and other Air India executives to explore opportunities for deeper collaboration.
The team also engaged with Stanford University to discuss cutting-edge topics. This includes inventory and pricing optimization, improved engine and emissions performance, and other advancements.
In May, Wilson revealed Air India’s interest in partnering with Apple to enhance flight-planning software used by pilots. The airline aims to become one of Apple’s largest iPad customers in India.
Flight planning software is crucial for pilots, allowing them to input crucial information. This includes departure and destination airports, preferred routes, weather conditions, and aircraft performance data, ultimately generating a customized and efficient flight plan.
However, specific details regarding the potential collaboration between Air India and Apple in this area remain undisclosed.
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