Thursday, September 10, 2015

Air India gets go-ahead from Airbus to extend use of 3 ageing A320s

NEW DELHI: National carrier Air India has got the go-ahead from European aircraft maker Airbus to use three of its ageing A320s for a longer duration, even as the state- run airline is in the process of replacing the entire fleet of these planes with new fuel-efficient aircraft.

The move, which is subjected to DGCA approval, would allow Air India to fly these planes by another one-and half year than mandated operational life, aviation ministry sources said.

Significantly, one of Air India's pilots body, Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) had in March this year asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to ground these more than a two decades old classic A320s, citing safety issues.

"Air India had invited a team from Airbus to inspect these three A320 aircraft and evaluate whether scheduled maintenance period of these planes can be extended. After aircraft stress and structural analysis, Airbus approved aircraft's operational life beyond the scheduled period," a source said.

The government-owned airline, however, can fly these planes beyond their operational life once the DGCA approves the same, they said.
09/09/15 PTI/The Economic Times
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