To expand its domestic and international services, Tatas-owned carrier Air India said on Monday that it would gradually introduce 30 new aircraft, including five wide-body Boeing aircraft, starting in December of this year.
The airline has agreements to lease five wide-body Boeing aircraft and twenty-five narrow-body Airbus aircraft over the following fifteen months.
“The airline’s fleet will grow by more than 25% when these new aircraft start flying in late 2022. These new aircraft represent the first significant fleet growth since Air India was acquired by the Tata Group earlier this year, excluding the ten long-grounded narrow-body and six wide-body aircraft that have just been brought back into service, “stated a statement.
21 Airbus A320 Neos, 4 Airbus A321 Neos, and 5 Boeing B777-200LRs are among the aircraft being leased.
Between December 2022 and March 2023, the fleet will welcome the B777-200LR aircraft. They will be used on lines from major Indian cities to the US.
Bangalore will acquire a 3x weekly service to San Francisco. At the same time, Mumbai will gain flights to San Francisco and the international airports in the New York region, Newark Liberty and John F Kennedy.
The announcement read, “These aircraft would enable Air India to provide Premium Economy haul trips for the first time.”
The press announcement states that the four A321 neo aircraft are anticipated to enter the fleet in the first quarter of 2023, while the 21 A320 Neos will be inducted in the second half of 2023.
These aircraft will be used for domestic and quick overseas trips.
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, according to Air India CEO and Managing Director Campbell Wilson. “After a long time without significant growth, Air India is delighted to resume expanding its fleet and global footprint,” Wilson said.
The airline now has 70 narrow-body aircraft in its fleet. Fifty-four of them are now in use, while the remaining 16 will gradually be back into service by the beginning of 2023.
There are 43 wide-body aircraft in Air India’s fleet, 33 flying now. By the start of 2023, the rest will be back in service.