Air India to replace ageing fleet with efficient planes
FEB 9, 2015: Air India plans to induct 19 aircraft between this fiscal to March 2018. Airbus 320 Neos, which are 15 percent more fuel efficient, will start being delivered to the airline from April 2017. As many as 14 global aircraft lessors have evinced interest in leasing planes to Air India, which seeks to replace its ageing narrow-body fleet with new fuel efficient planes. The state-run carrier would induct 19 new Airbus 320 neo/ceo planes in the fleet by March 2018 on an up to 12-year dry lease as part of this plan. Of these 19, five are being leased from independent Chinese lessor China Aircraft Leasi-ng Company, which has already delivered the first sharklets-equipped A320ceo plane. The remaining four will be inducted in the fleet by October. "We have received proposals from 14 companies in response to our invitation for bids for dry leasing of the remaining 14 planes. These firms, which are from the US, UK, Europe and Singapore, have offered us to lease up to 48 planes," the company said. These proposals are being evaluated, sources said, adding, AI was "open" to lease more aircraft. A dry lease comes without insurance, crew, and ground staff, supporting equipment or maintenance. Lessors generally charge an airline between 0.85 to one percent of the aircraft's list price as rental per month.