Air India will lease 25 Airbus narrow-body aircraft and five Boeing wide-body aircraft to augment its existing fleet in the near term, the Tata Group-owned airline said on Monday.
The aircraft being leased include 21 Airbus A320neos, four Airbus A321neos, and five Boeing B777-200LRs. These aircraft, which will enter service from late 2022, will increase the airline’s fleet by over 25 %, Air India said.
This is the first time that Air India has planned a capacity expansion since 2014 when it leased around 14 Airbus A320neo aircraft, of which the last was delivered in 2019.
the first to report on August 23 that the Tatas are planning to lease aircraft for a short term for an immediate expansion of AI fleet, even as the group is in the final stages of closing orders for around 200 narrow body and wide body aircraft.
These new leased aircraft will mark the first major fleet expansion since Air India’s acquisition by Tata Group earlier this year.
Air India’s narrow-body fleet currently stands at 70 aircraft, of which 54 are in service; the remaining 16 aircraft will progressively return to service by early 2023. Similarly, Air India’s wide-body fleet currently stands at 43 aircraft, of which 33 are operational. The rest will return to service by early 2023.