Air India will reportedly lease an additional 12 passenger aircraft planned to serve the carrier’s short, medium, and long-haul international routes, according to The Economic Times of India.
The new batch of leased aircraft will include both Airbus A320neo narrow-bodies and Boeing 777 wide-body airliners, The Economic Times revealed in a report published on December 5, 2022.
The planes are expected to be gradually delivered to Air India during the first half of 2023. The 12 jets are an addition to a previous order of 30 aircraft, which was announced by the New Delhi-based carrier on September 12, 2022.
At the time, Air India signed leases and letters of intent (LoI) for 25 Airbus narrow-body and five Boeing wide-body aircraft, which are due to enter service in late 2022. The new joiners will include 21 Airbus A320neos, four A321neos, and five Boeing 777-200LRs.
The jets are expected to expand Air India’s existing fleet and address the airline’s “immediate need” for more capacity, according to the carrier’s chief executive Campbell Wilson.
According to the preliminary delivery schedule, the first five Boeing 777-200LRs [long range, editor, -] are expected to join the fleet between December 2022 and March 2023.
These aircraft will be used to operate routes from Indian metro cities to various destinations in the United States. Meanwhile, the four A321s are scheduled to arrive during the first quarter of 2023, Air India said.
The 21 A320s are expected to be handed over in the second half of 2023 and will serve domestic airline flights and some short-haul international routes.
According to Planespotters.com, Air India currently operates a mixed fleet of 70 planes narrow-body and 44 wide-body aircraft.