Friday, July 28, 2017

As divestment looms, Air India’s Boeing order to end by Mar 2018 as 6 planes join fleet

Air India will take delivery of six more planes from Boeing by March, 2018 marking the completion of the orders the state-owned carrier had placed with the world’s largest aerospace company as far back as December 2005, according to a company official.

The company is going ahead with the purchase of the planes even as the government explores options to sell its stake in the loss-making airline.

There will be three Boeing 777-300 ER and as many 787-8 planes delivered to the national airline by the end of the current financial year.

“The airline may be making losses but it will be sold on a going concern basis. The purchase of the planes is a contract that needs to be honoured,” the official said.

Under the first contract, eight Boeing 777-200LR and 15 Boeing 777-300ER planes were ordered. While all planes of the first type were delivered, three of 777-300ER remain. Of the eight Boeing 777-200LR planes, Air India sold five in order to rationalise the fleet and reduce operational losses.

Similarly, as many as 27 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner planes were ordered under the second win for the US company in 2005. Of these, 24 have been delivered.

Air India has a fleet of 119 planes with 44 wide-body Boeing planes and 65 narrow-body Airbus planes. The rest are smaller ATR planes that fly on regional routes.