Air India to expand fleet with 30 Boeing and Airbus jets


Tata Group-owned Air India said on Monday that it will lease 30 Boeing and Airbus aircraft, expanding its fleet by more than 25%.

Air India's new owner, the autos-to-steel conglomerate Tata Group, faces an uphill task to upgrade the carrier's ageing fleet and turn around its financials and service levels.

"After a long time without significant growth, Air India is delighted to resume expanding its fleet and global footprint," said Air India Chief Executive Campbell Wilson.

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"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."

The latest deals comprise the leasing of 21 Airbus A320neos, four Airbus A321neos and five Boeing B777-200LRs.

The Airbus jets will begin joining the fleet in the first quarter of next year and are expected to be deployed on domestic and short-haul international routes.

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The B777-200LRs will join the fleet between December and March, with deployment likely to be on routes from Indian cities to the United States.

The airline currently has 54 narrow-body aircraft and 33 wide-body aircraft operational, it said in a statement, adding that more are expected to be in service soon.

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