- Air India has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320neo aircraft since becoming a private airline.
- This is the first of nine A320neos ordered on lease from China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings Limited.
- The arrival of leased aircraft will increase Air India’s fleet size by around 25%, allowing the carrier to rebuild its domestic network.
Air India’s aircraft deals and lease agreements after privatization are gradually bearing results. After taking deliveries of four Airbus A321neos on lease in the last few months, the carrier has now welcomed its first A320neo since becoming a private carrier. The latest aircraft is part of the leasing agreement Air India signed last year, which included 21 A320neos and four A321neos.
First A320neo since privatization
Air India has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320neo aircraft since becoming a private airline. The plane is part of a leasing agreement signed by the carrier last year to develop its fleet for immediate capacity enhancement.
The plane, registered as VT-RTF, is the first of nine A320neos ordered on lease from China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings Limited (CALC). The remaining eight will be delivered in the coming months through 2024. Winnie Liu, Executive Director, and CCO of CALC, commented,
“We thank Air India for their trust in CALC. CALC is delighted to be embarking on another collaboration with our longstanding customer Air India to support the airline’s robust growth with the latest technology aircraft.”
20 more to come
VT-RTF is part of a leasing agreement signed by Air India last year for 30 aircraft, including five Boeing 777-200LRs and 25 Airbus narrowbody planes. Four of the 25 narrowbodies are A321neos (already delivered), and the remaining are A320neos.
Photo: Rojen’s Collection | Shutterstock
Air India Chief Executive Officer Campbell Wilson told his employees in a message that the remaining 20 A320neos will progressively arrive between now and August 2024. He also spoke about the delivery status of the carrier’s latest widebody type – the Airbus A350 – adding,
“We also took delivery of our second A350 (VT-JRB), which is now undergoing livery changes and other modifications in Toulouse before arriving in New Delhi in January 2024.”
Air India is currently witnessing a fleet restructuring unlike anything it has seen in recent times. Previously, as a government-run airline, Air India suffered from a significant capacity crunch due to a lack of any major aircraft orders in years and several grounded planes due to a lack of funds.
This also affected its position in India’s domestic market, as other private airlines, most notably IndiGo, continued fleet expansion and grabbed an increasing share of the local market. But with the Tata Group backing Air India now, the carrier seems ready to make a comeback.
Photo: Air India
Just these leased aircraft will increase Air India’s fleet size by around 25%. The latest narrowbody planes will help Air India rebuild its domestic network and reclaim some of its lost market share.
The carrier will also continue receiving several more narrowbody and widebody planes over the next decade as part of its record-breaking aircraft deal with Boeing and Airbus earlier this year.
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- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport
- Year Founded:
- Star Alliance
- Campbell Wilson