Monday, September 13, 2021

12 Air India Airbus Narrowbodies Grounded Over Lack Of Engines

India’s cash-strapped national carrier Air India is struggling to get some of its narrowbody A320s up in the air. The news comes just days before the airline is expected to receive final bids for privatization. From flight delays to non-payment of debt, Air India has been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons. The latest report of aircraft grounding doesn’t help the carrier, particularly when it’s so close to moving towards private ownership. Let’s find out more.

According to a report by Hindustan Times, around 12 Airbus A320 aircraft in Air India’s fleet haven’t flown at all in the last few years. These airplanes need engine replacement, and the carrier doesn’t have the funds required to get them flying again.

Hindustan Times spoke to an airline source who said,

“At least 12 Airbus 320 aircraft continue to remain grounded. The airline needs around ₹11 crore (almost $1.5 million) to make them operational, which the management is unlikely to spend considering the ongoing privatisation process.”

The source further added that the future of these A320s seems uncertain until the carrier receives a successful bid for privatization.

Air India has been in similar situations before. In 2018, it was reported that the carrier had grounded 19 aircraft, both narrowbodies and widebodies, due to maintenance issues. The airplanes involved ranged from the A320 family to Boeing widebodies of 777 and 787. Even back then, the airline was struggling to afford repairs needed to make these airplanes operational. Finally, in May 2019, it was reported that Air India was planning to arrange the funds required to get the fleet back in the air again.

13/09/21 Gaurav Joshi/Simple Flying

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