Sunday, September 03, 2006

Few aircraft forces AI to reduce LA flights

Mumbai: Air India has decided to cut down the number of its flights from Mumbai to Los Angeles this winter. An AI spokesperson said the frequency of flights would be reduced from seven to thrice a week "due to capacity restrictions."
They said the situation could have been avoided if AI had taken aircraft on lease in time since it knew that it had to return, towards the year-end, three of the Boeing 747-400 aircraft it had taken on lease.
The spokesperson said tenders for taking aircraft on lease were floated in time, but the response did not meet AI's requirements. The DGCA had ruled that aircraft taken on lease should not be more than ten years old and this restricted AI's options.
"We are still trying to get suitable aircraft on lease and if these are available then we would operate all the flights to LA from Mumbai. As of now we have stopped bookings to LA from Mumbai," he added.
03/09/06 S Balakrishnan/Times of India
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