Air India Ltd is to acquire 19 A320s on dry lease to catch up with the heightened competition with no-frill carriers. Industry watchers are judging for this action as the effort of Air India to replace its old fleet.
The airline service has already started the process of obtaining 19 Airbus A320s. As per the PTI reports, this robust aircraft has been its warhorse for more than 20 years for domestic operations. Airline sources said, “The national carrier has sought dry leasing these planes for six years instead of buying them, as part of its Turnaround and Financial Restructuring Plans.”
They further added, “All these 19 new aircraft should have sharklets and be in an all-economy configuration.” The airline is all set to call for financial and technical bids at global level to dry-lease these planes. In fact, the technical bids are to be opened by September this year.
Air India airlines was one of the launch customers of the A320s and the airline bought about 31 of them between 1989 and 1993. It further strengthened its relations with the A320 family by purchasing 43 more planes including A320s, A319s and A321s during 2003 – 2010. Presently, Air India Ltd is the proud owner of 12 A320s with six on lease. It also has 20 A321 along with 24 A319s out of which 19 are owned and five leased. If sources are to be believed, the deliveries of the recently leased 19 aircrafts would commence from the fourth quarter of 2013.