Air India has announced that it will acquire 30 Airbus and Boeing jets, including five Boeing 777-200LRs, entering into service from late 2022. This will expand the carrier’s fleet by more than 25%.
The Tata Group-owned carrier will lease twenty-one Airbus A320neos, four Airbus A321neos and five Boeing B777-200LRs. This marks the first major fleet expansion since Air India’s acquisition by the Indian conglomerate Tata Group earlier this year.
“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.”Campbell Wilson, Air India CEO & Managing Director
Mr Wilson further stated that Air India has exciting expansion and renewal plans, of which these new aircraft are just the beginning.
Aircraft Delivery and Future Routes
The Airbus A320neo jets will begin joining the fleet in the second quarter of 2023 whereas the four A321neo aircraft will join the fleet in the first quarter. These planes will be heavily deployed on domestic as well as a handful of short-haul international routes.
In addition, the five Boeing 777-200LRs will join the fleet between December and March. These 777s will be deployed on routes from Indian cities to the United States. Air India will add flights to San Francisco as well as New York JFK and Newark Liberty from Mumbai after the arrival of these jets. Alongside, Bangalore will also receive a 3x weekly service to San Francisco.
Air India will be offering Premium Economy seats for the first time on board the upcoming B777-200LRs.
Currently, the Indian flag carrier operates a fleet of 54 narrow-body aircraft and 33 wide-body aircraft. The carrier is also expecting to return 16 narrowbodies and 10 widebodies, that are currently grounded into service by early 2023.
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